Implementation of an enhanced discharge teaching protocol to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions in adults diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease

Jean Thorpe-Williams, Diana-lyn Baptiste, Joanne E. Jarboe-Costello, Sharon Kozachik


Background and objectives: Sickle Cell Disease is a painful genetic disorder characterized by abnormal hemoglobin that affects 1-in-365 African American births. Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease often experience frequent hospitalizations, resulting in 30-day readmission rates 2.5 times higher than those without Sickle Cell Disease. Discharge education programs have shown to improve 30-day readmissions and improve health outcomes.

Methods: This advanced practice nurse-led initiative incorporated components of the Re-Engineered Discharge (Project RED) protocol, which included patient and medication education, specific discharge teaching, and post-discharge follow-up phone calls over a 12-week period. A pre/posttest design was used to evaluate 30-day readmission. Analyses included descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test.

Results: Of the (N = 10) participants, eight (80%) were female, with a mean age of 31.08 (± 4.33) and all were African Americans. Although not statistically significant, there was a 48% reduction in 30-day readmissions rates between the pre/post intervention periods.

Conclusions: The utilization of an enhanced discharge teaching protocol is a practical solution to increase patients’ readiness for discharge and to reduce 30-day readmission rates. Project RED discharge teaching protocol is an effective strategy for nurses to employ to improve patient outcomes and quality of care for persons with Sickle Cell Disease.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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