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Temple University Hospital

Project RED Success Story

Temple University Hospital (TUH) cut its heart failure (HF) readmission rate to 12.8% compared to an overall hospital HF rate of 23.8%.

TUH tracks patients for 30 days post discharge, so its data includes readmissions to other hospitals during that 30-day period.

As a teaching hospital, TUH faced the challenge of preparing a constantly changing group of residents for their role in Project RED. They responded by developing a regular and recurring orientation for residents together with weekly presentations and quarterly program updates. The task was made easier by the well developed teaching materials and the support from staff and physicians.

As a result of Project RED, TUH found that patients develop a stronger relationship with their nurse, and increasingly contact the nurse when they have questions or need assistance. This allowed the nursing staff to direct patients to the most appropriate level of care and avoid unnecessary emergency visits and readmissions.

The success with Project RED is particularly rewarding given the population served by TUH. TUH serves the poorest part of the City of Philadelphia with its very large underserved population. Many patients do not speak English as their first language, have very complex living situations, and the HF patients average 5.6 co-morbidities.

At JCR’s urging, the staff responded with creative custom education, such as coaching people on how to make healthy choices who mainly eat fast food. Building on this success, TUH is expanding is outreach to external stakeholders, engaging pharmacy to improve medication reconciliation, and engaging their call center to assist with follow-up.