Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Recovering from a cardiac surgery procedure and the transition to home can be an overwhelming experience for patients and caregivers. A tertiary care hospital's cardiothoracic surgery department suspended a nurse-practitioner-coordinated transitional care program in the 1st quarter of 2016. Following this decision, the readmission rate increased from its previous rate of 15.6% in quarter 1 to 20% in quarter 3. The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop a clinical practice guideline (CPG) that can bridge the gap in the transitional care process. The transitional care model informed the design of the project. A draft guideline was distributed to 5 stakeholders from the inpatient cardiac surgery care team for initial review. After initial review and revisions an edited version was then distributed to 5 additional stakeholders. Those stakeholders provided an assessment utilizing the AGREE II tool to assess the 6 domains of scope and purpose, stakeholder involvement, rigor of development, clarity and presentation, application and editorial independence, and overall quality. Four domains indicated a high level of agreement (96%-100%) and 2 domains indicated a response of < 76% for domains related to rigor and organizational resources. The overall guideline assessment of the quality of the CPG received a score of 96%, with a recommendation to adopt the guideline. Advanced practice nurses will utilize this guideline to provide a systematic process in bridging gaps in care for the transition of the cardiac surgery patient population from hospital to home. Social change will be promoted through improved patient management by using evidence-based transitional care, decreased readmissions, and improved health outcomes for the cardiac surgical population.