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Patient Characteristics Are Not Associated With Documentation of Weight and Heart Failure Related Sign and Symptom Assessment in Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Morrow C, Perraillon MC, Daddato AE, Reeder BP, Wald HL, Battaglia C, Boxer RS. Patient Characteristics Are Not Associated With Documentation of Weight and Heart Failure Related Sign and Symptom Assessment in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Journal of The American Medical Directors Association. 2021 Jun 1; 22(6):1265-1270.e1.

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OBJECTIVE: Monitoring body weight and signs and symptoms related to heart failure (HF) can alert clinicians to a patient's worsening condition but the degree to which these practices are performed in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is unknown. This study analyzed the frequency of these monitoring practices in SNFs and explored associated factors at both the patient and SNF level. DESIGN: An observational study of data from the usual care arm of the SNF Connect Trial, a randomized cluster trial of a HF disease management intervention. The data extracted from charts were combined with publicly available facility data. A linear regression model was estimated to evaluate the frequency of HF disease management conditional on patient and facility covariates. SETTING: Data from 28 SNFs in Colorado. PARTICIPANTS: Patients discharged from hospital to SNFs with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HF. MEASUREMENTS: Patient-level covariates included demographics, New York Heart Association class, type of HF, and Charlson comorbidity index. Facility-level covariates were from Nursing Home Compare. RESULTS: The sample (n  =  320) was majority female (66%), white (93%), with mean age 80 ± 10 years and a Charlson comorbidity index of 3.2 ± 1.5. Seventy percent had HF with preserved ejection fraction, mean ejection fraction of 50 ± 16% and 40% with a New York Heart Association class III-IV. On average, patients were weighed 40% of their days in the SNF and had documentation of at least 1 HF-related sign or symptom 70% of their days in the SNF. Patient-level factors were not associated with frequency of documenting weight and assessments of HF-related signs/symptoms. Health Inspection Star Rating was positively associated with weight monitoring (P  <  .05) but not associated with symptom assessment. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Patient-level factors are not meaningfully associated with the documentation of weight tracking or sign/symptom assessment. Monitoring weight was instead associated with the Health Inspection Star Rating.

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