Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Sheila Davis

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Patsy Anderson

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Hwanseok Choi

Committee Member 5

Karen Winters


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of adherence to evidence-based guidelines for pharmacologic management by select Mississippi hospitals and their hospital readmission rates. This was an exploratory study with a retrospective design. This design offered insight into the relationship between readmissions of heart failure patients and adherence to the national guidelines for the pharmacologic treatment of heart failure. The study took place in a hospital in the southeastern section of the United States. Data were collected from a database of patients with heart failure seen between January 2011 and June 2014.

The unit of analysis for this study was the hospitalizations of the heart failure patients. The researcher limited the study to the first 30 days of the patient’s index hospitalization and readmissions included in that period. Patient inclusion criteria for this study included: 18 years of age and older with a diagnosis of heart failure as identified by the International Classification of Disease (ICD – 9) Codes for heart failure. A researcher generated data abstraction tool was used to collect data on the variables of interest: demographic variables and clinical variables. A total of 31 charts comprised the sample. The Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) software version 23 was used to analyze collected data.

The overall findings of this study indicated that patients frequently readmit to the hospital within 30 days of discharge; however, a relationship was not seen between evidence-based pharmacological therapy and readmission. The researcher concluded that this finding was due to the small amount of data for analysis. The results also revealed that some of the pharmacological classes of medications were not utilized, or insufficient documentation existed about their use or lack thereof.