Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The rising cost of health care and changes in healthcare delivery have prompted a need to improve continuity from the hospital to home. This scholarly project was initiated to assess the impact on patient outcomes related to initiation of a nurse practitioner-led transitional care program (TCP). Using the Diffusion of Innovations and Health Belief Models, the purpose of this study was to identify the impact of a TCP on improving the health of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes mellitus Type II (DM II), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). The impact of the TCP was evaluated by a review of patient satisfaction results, reduction in patient readmission rate, and emergency room consults. Two years of data from a community-based health care program were collated from a sample of 819 individuals with chronic disease between 65- and 85-years-old who had a 30-day hospital readmission after a nurse practitioner home visit and a 30- day readmission for an exacerbation of their CHF, DM II, or COPD. The secondary data were analyzed, using SPSS, to determine changes in rates of readmission. Descriptive statistics were used to represent and compare changes in rates. After implementation of the nurse practitioner home visit program, the 30-day readmission demonstrated an 81.07% reduction and the 30-day readmission for exacerbation of COPD, CHF, and DM II was reduced by 36.77%. The project findings contribute to social change by identifying how a reduction in the frequency of hospitalizations could contribute to decreased health care expenses and improved health outcomes. Home care and chronic health care organizations, as well as advanced-practice nurses working in home care settings, may use the results of the study to establish effective community interventions that reduce health care costs.