Date of Award

Spring 3-27-2021

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Douglas M. Turner PhD, DNP, RN, CNE, NE-BC, NEA-BC

Second Advisor

Sheri Jacobson PhD, RN


Practice Problem: An estimated 6.5 million American adults ≥20 years of age have heart failure (HF) and worldwide 1 to 2% of the total healthcare budget is spent on HF. To improve outcomes and streamline the treatment of HF patients, The American Heart Association (AHA) joined with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and created the Get With The Guidelines Program (GWTG).

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was in adult HF patients admitted to the cardiovascular unit under the care of the hospitalist service, does implementing an evidence-based practice (EBP) discharge medication protocol for physician use based on the AHA GWTG program’s HF discharge medication protocol, compared to no standardized discharge protocol, improve patients’ 30-day readmission rate, in 12 weeks?

Evidence: Evidence from 10 studies supported implementing an evidence-based GDMT tool into a standardized HF discharge medication protocol for this project.

Intervention: Education and encouragement of use of the AHA GWTG discharge medication protocol for HF in the electronic health record (EHR) was provided to a group of physicians on a cardiovascular unit. The intervention was over a four-week period and pre- and post-intervention protocol use was observed with specific measures analyzed for observation of improvement.

Outcome: The results determined there was minimal statistical significance, however, there was a decrease in the financial measure of the cost of HF readmissions denoting a clinical significance.

Conclusion: Continued use of a guideline-based discharge medication protocol, such as the one utilized in this project, is recommended based on the results and evidence provided in this project.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Includes copyrighted materials that were used with permission; except where otherwise noted this scholarly project is released under CC-BY 4.0 license.

JHNEBP Model and Tools, © The Johns Hopkins Hospital / Johns Hopkins University, used with permission.

IOWA Model Revised, © 2015, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, used with permission.

Get with the Guidelines® Heart Failure Discharge Medication Guidelines, © American Heart Association, used with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.