Date of Graduation

Winter 12-18-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



First Advisor

Timothy Godfrey, SJ, DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Marjorie Barter, EdD, RN


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 ushered in a new era of fiscal accountability for healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations and providers are now jointly held responsible for the improved quality of patient care and sustained reductions in patient care events termed healthcare-acquired conditions. To ensure compliance with this newly enacted legislation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began penalizing hospitals for targeted conditions leading to 30-day readmissions beginning in October 2012. Annually, CMS has focused attention on conditions that endanger patient health and welfare while secondarily attempting to reduce the excessive financial expenditures in care related to 30-day readmissions. CMS penalizes hospitals by decreasing reimbursement for inpatient Medicare rates or by withholding payment through several programs that comprise the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS). Beginning in fiscal year 2017, Healthcare-acquired Clostridium difficile infection 30-day readmission penalties will commence under CMS quality programs. The aim of this quality improvement project was to decrease 30-day readmissions of healthcare-acquired Clostridium difficile infection in hospitalized patients. Following a targeted discharge education intervention focused on nursing providers and patients, a decrease in 30-day readmissions of healthcare-acquired Clostridium difficile infection was identified at a sustained rate of 14% for 30-day readmissions.