Hospital readmission rates are a reflection on quality of care.
Poor care coordination and discharge planning combined with medication errors and adverse events such as infections contribute to readmission rates.
For those being treated for heart disease, poor diet and medication compliance are the most common reasons for readmission.
Research is analyzing the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation programs, particularly programs that provide a nutrition education component versus those that do not.
One retrospective study reviewed data from 73 cardiac rehabilitation patients who attended nutrition classes. All 30-minute classes were taught by the same registered dietitian incorporating dietary guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association Adult Treatment Panel III and Therapeutic Lifestyle Change diet.
Participants were categorized based on number of classes attended. One session offered twelve nutrition classes and a second session offered a condensed version with six nutrition classes.
Dietary fat intake was used to assess diet quality pre- and post-rehab. Those attending the greatest number of nutrition classes saw the greatest improvement in dietary fat intake.
Not all cardiac rehab programs provide nutrition education. Many cardiac rehab programs provide components that are not mandatory to attend.
This means your health post hospital admission is largely dependent on you and your choices.
Some items to consider for optimal outcomes…
Heart disease is largely a lifestyle disease, meaning your diet and lifestyle choices influence your risk. If you are confused about what you should and should not be eating, be proactive and seek out the answers. Doctors do not typically spend a lot of time on education. Instead, get referrals to other providers for needed education and guidance, such as a registered dietitian for dietary education and a physical therapist to determine what is and is not safe for you to do physically depending on your heart condition.
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All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Health Pro for HealthCentral