The Particulars: The use of standardized discharge orders has become widespread in recent years in the care of patients with heart failure (HF). Evidence suggests that these orders are effective for HF management, but little is known about their impact on adherence to quality measures or readmission rates in this patient population.

Data Breakdown: Researchers conducted a pre-versus-post-implementation study of an electronic discharge tool. The tool was designed to address the entire discharge process and included decision-support tools and safeguards for guiding physicians through recommended steps for HF patients. When compared with the pre-implementation period, use of the discharge tool was associated with a 23% lower all-cause readmission rate and a 10-fold increase in quality measure compliance.

Take Home Pearl: Use of an electronic discharge order system designed for use with HF patients appears to increase quality measure compliance and decrease readmission rates.