Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
In a stroke-certified 500-bed acute care hospital, the 30-day readmission rates for patients discharged to rehabilitation centers or skilled nursing facilities were higher than the rates for patients discharged to home. A review of data by the stroke team showed 44 patients readmitted within 30 days of initial stroke discharge between October 2016 and January 2017. The rate of re-admission for those discharged home was 41% (18 patients), whereas the rate for those discharged to acute inpatient rehabilitation, long-term acute care, or skilled nursing facilities was 59% (26 patients). The practice-focused question for this project assessed whether using a re-admission risk-assessment tool and implementing interventions during the initial acute-care admission, would help to identify and improve risk for 30-day re-admissions for patients diagnosed with stroke. The goal of this research project was to adopt, test, and recommend the implementation of a readmission risk assessment tool to enable discharge planners to identify stroke patients at risk for readmission and implement interventions to help reduce this risk. Lewin’s theory of change was used to inform the project. A stroke re-admission risk-assessment tool in use at a similar hospital was adopted and tested for 1 week on the hospital’s 28-bed stroke unit by nurse case managers. The test was conducted among 5 patients with confirmed diagnosis of stroke. A re-admission data review was performed 30 days after their discharge, which showed no readmissions for the 5 patients involved in the trial. The tool helped to improve case manager awareness of increased risk for readmissions, guide interventions, and improve patient transition and outcomes. The implications of this project for positive change include the potential to improve risk for patients with stroke in the acute-care facility.