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Christy Cotner

Christy Cotner

California Baptist University, USA

Title: Improving self-efficacy through a nurse practitioner led heart failure program


Biography: Christy Cotner


In 2016, I established a heart failure program in a large primary care clinic. The fundamental goals of this clinic were to decrease hospital readmissions and improve patient outcomes. In the U.S., three trillion dollars a year is spent on health care. 50% of that is concentrated on patients >65 years old with at least one chronic disease, heart disease being the most common. Heart failure readmissions are a significant burden on the nation’s healthcare system. The thirty-day readmission rates for the diagnosis of heart failure across the nation is 25%. The astonishing factor is that 75% of these readmissions have been deemed preventable. So, the question remains, why can’t we as health care professionals prevent them? I began the heart failure program in hopes of closing the gap from hospital to home, however, in the midst of gathering data something amazing happened. I began to ask the right questions and found that many of the patients that were unsuccessful had one common theme. They scored low on their self-efficacy questionnaire that was given on their first visit to the heart failure program. Self-efficacy is the belief in one's capability to succeed. Various studies have shown that despite the severity of a patient’s disease, those with high self-efficacy showed improved quality of life and fewer hospitalizations. I believe by improving our patient’s self-efficacy through education and empowerment we can improve our patient’s quality of life, and decrease the overwhelming burden of frequent hospitalization on the healthcare system.