Improving Discharge Education for Heart Failure Patients by Using an Electronic Checklist

Date of Graduation

Summer 8-7-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Mary Seed

Second Advisor

Catherine Coleman



The lack of multidisciplinary adherence to documentation on the paper-based heart failure (HF) pathway on a 30 bed medical/surgical, telemetry, and oncology unit was identified as a gap in patient education. The evidence indicates that there is an increase in HF readmissions within 30 days which results in adverse clinical and financial outcomes. The recent implementation of Epic into the organization has converted paper charting to an electronic medical record (EMR) system. An Epic-based HF discharge checklist was created using best practice guidelines to include education on medications, diet, activity, weight monitoring, and signs of worsening symptoms. The team was able to access and test the checklist in Epic using the SmartPhrase tool in which they were encouraged to discuss the outcomes twice a week during multidisciplinary rounds. The development of an electronic discharge education checklist over a three month period enhanced the multidisciplinary team’s participation in providing heart failure patients with self-management education before discharge. Collaboration with the information technology (IT) team and the informatics nurse supported the conversion to an electronic checklist that can be built into the EMR in fall 2018.

Keywords: heart failure, multidisciplinary team, readmissions, discharge checklist, EMR

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