Indexed on: 29 Jan '11Published on: 29 Jan '11Published in: Pflege
Individuals with chronic heart failure are a vulnerable group of patients, with a poor prognosis and frequent hospitalisations. Research shows that multidisciplinary education outpatient programmes for heart failure (HF) increases the quality of life of these patients and decreases mortality and rehospitalisation respectively. As a result of this research, the University Hospital Basel has developed and implemented a multidisciplinary, nurse-led inpatient programme. The article describes the development and difficulties of the programme from its beginning until the verification of its effectiveness. Based on a systematic review of the literature and principles of action research the programme was developed by a group of nurses specialised in HF and two physicians under the guidance of an Advanced Practice Nurse student. The group developed a patient pathway and guidelines describing education, skills training sessions for patients, as well as descriptions of responsibilities and tasks of the different members of the multidisciplinary team. To date, an individualised programme with information material and specific documentation is offered to patients who receive personalised recommendations before their discharge. For the nurses the implementation of the programme was a new challenge of structured counselling in their normal "busy" routine because of this challenge the nurses needed continuing coaching.