Being Smart this Easter

According to an article written in the New York Post in June 2016, the number of hospital admissions for heart failure increases days after major holidays.
As a RN care manager my goal is to educate patients on what they should or should not do during the holidays to help manage their conditions, but still enjoy themselves.
This week I will be educating my patients with a diagnosis of Heart Failure on what actions to take during the holiday season. Ham is a common meal for many during the Easter holiday. One cup of ham has 1684 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends 1500 mg of sodium a day and no more than 2400 mg a day. Eating one cup of ham is more than half the max recommended amount. As the nurse I will instruct the patients on this information and also educate them on the hidden sodium in the side dishes. With hospital costs being approximately $40 billion a year for heart failure patients, it is assumed that patients are non compliant. Therefore along with education on diet I will educate patients on what plan of action to take the days before and following Easter. Patients will be instructed to weight themselves every day and document the weights. If patient experiences a weight gain of 2-3 lbs in one day they need to be on the phone calling the physician with the weight information. Patient will also be instructed to monitor their lower extremities for any swelling and signs of fluid retention and report this to the physician as well.
As a RN care manager to patients with chronic conditions, the holidays are always a tricky and quite honest a difficult time of the year for healthcare providers. We want patients to be able to enjoy themselves during the holidays and reframe from being hospitalized. Even though a good majority of patients are well controlled and managed, there are still those patients who need us to educate monthly on how to manage their conditions in their home environment.
About Signallamp Health
Signallamp Health delivers a personalized approach to chronic care management. RNs are dedicated to your practice and collaborate with your care team to create one-on-one connections with patients outside of the office. Signallamp Health works seamlessly within your EMR (no integration required), provides care management services by RNs, and does so at no cost to the practice. Signallamp Health is good for your patients and good for your practice.
To learn more about Signallamp Health’s nurse-led care management services, connect with John Taylor at (610) 675-6887 or JohnT@signallamphealth.com. Find us online at www.signallamphealth.com.

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