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VQI: ‘Badge Buddy’ Improves Discharge Meds Compliance

The simple introduction of a color-coded card has helped two Texas facilities improve discharge medication compliance and documentation, potentially improving patient outcomes.

A poster abstract, "The Right Meds for the Right Outcomes: A Quality Improvement Initiative Focused on Improving Discharge Medication Compliance and Documentation Across Multiple Registries," presented the compliance problem and steps to mitigate it at the Vascular Quality Initiative’s annual meeting in late May.

The abstract won the inaugural Poster Contest. Rosha Nodine, BAAS, was chief author.

The quality initiative was undertaken by both The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano and The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton in Texas and concluded that education coupled with timely reporting can positively affect discharge medication compliance and documentation.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a "Badge Buddy," a color-coded card worn by hospital personnel that outlines the required medications.

The Plano site was not meeting its internal benchmarks for select discharge medication measures. Brainstorming and analysis led to several strategies, including multi-disciplinary collaboration, education sessions across departments, creation of not only the Badge Buddy but also a nurse validator role and a chart addendum process, among others.

Compliance with guideline-driven discharge medications provides such benefits as lowering the risk of morbidity, mortality and hospital readmission, abstract authors said.

Preliminary results show both the Plano and Denton sites have improved discharge medication documentation and compliance, making progress toward achieving internal benchmarks for VQI and 90th percentile benchmarks for the National Cardiovascular Data Registry.

Plano, for example, improved from 74.99 percent in 2015 to 100 percent to date in 2017 for discharge medication bundles. The process was easily generalized across multiple registries and service lines.

The project helped the two sites overcome several challenges, including lack of access to electronic discharge order sets. That lack of access, in fact, led to the creation of the simple, yet effective, Badge Buddy, said Nodine.

Abstract co-authors are: Catherine Aguas, MSN, RN; Shibumi Ahuja, MS; Susan Dorval, RN; Lisa Foster, MOL, RT; Nadia Garcia, BBA; Taylor Herrick, BA; Rhonda Parker, MBA, BSN, RN, CPHQ; Tiffany Reyna, RHIA; and Kristi Verschelden, BSN, RN.