Impact of the Implementation of Project Re-Engineered Discharge for Heart Failure patients at a Veterans Affairs Hospital at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Hospitalizations due to chronic diseases such as heart failure (HF) continue to increase worldwide. Fragmentation of care while transitioning from one care setting to another is an important factor contributing to hospitalizations. Fragmented discharge tools have been implemented; however, the impact of a comprehensive interdisciplinary discharge tool has not been previously studied. Objective: The goal of this study is to assess the impact of the implementation of Project Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) on the incidence of hospital readmissions, all-cause mortality, primary care physician follow-up rate, and cost savings for patients with HF. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective, cohort study of patients admitted with HF exacerbation at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS). A random sample of 100 patients admitted prior to implementation of Project RED and 50 patients after Project RED intervention were included in the study. The primary end point was 30-day hospital readmission for HF exacerbation. The co-secondary end points were all-cause mortality, cost savings, and rate of primary care physician appointments scheduled as well as attended per postdischarge recommendations. Results: The 30-day hospital readmission rate was 28% in the pre-Project RED group, and it was 18% in the post-Project RED group (P = .18). The all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the post-Project RED group as compared with the pre-Project RED group (18% vs 41%, P = .04). More patients in the post-Project RED group attended an outpatient primary care appointment as recommended per postdischarge instructions (40% vs 19%, P = .006). In addition, with the decrease in hospital 30-day readmission rate in the post-Project RED group, there was a cost savings of $1453 per patient visit for HF exacerbation. Conclusions: Coordination of care using a discharge tool like Project RED should be utilized in institutions to improve patient outcomes as well as patient safety while decrease the overall health care cost.

published proceedings

  • Hosp Pharm

author list (cited authors)

  • Patel, P. H., & Dickerson, K. W.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Patel, Pooja H||Dickerson, Kimberly W

publication date

  • July 2018