The ACC’s Hospital to Home (H2H) initiative aims to improve the transition from inpatient to outpatient status for individuals hospitalized with heart disease. At its core, the program is community-based and success is achieved by packaging together proven readmissions reduction methods and partnering with quality improvement organizations. In an effort to reduce readmissions, H2H Community members are challenged to implement simple and targeted strategies for improvement by participating in the H2H Challenges: “See You in 7,” “Mind Your Meds” and “Signs and Symptoms.”

On the Path to Reducing Readmissions:  Checking in With Hospital to Home Recently, both CardioSurve panelists and H2H Community members were surveyed on their views of the initiative. The results shed light on the success of the program as well as numerous growth opportunities for the future.

Across the board, reducing readmissions of patients with CV disease was ranked as a high priority for facilities—80% of CardioSurve panelists and 96% of H2H Community members emphasized its importance. Additionally, more than three out of four (77%) CardioSurve panelists said their hospitals are working on programs to reduce readmissions and nearly half (47%) of the panelists indicated that they are actively participating in those efforts. Considering that much of the CardioSurve panel is comprised of cardiologists in private practice, this focus on readmissions coupled with the overall positive feedback of the program opens doors for increasing awareness and expanding the program beyond the hospital setting.

Clearly the H2H initiative has met with success. Nearly half (49%) of H2H Community members attributed an improvement in their facility’s readmissions to enrollment in the program and 43% have taken advantage of the H2H Challenges. The majority (85%) of community members expressed satisfaction with the program and a resounding 88% reported that they would be extremely or very likely to recommend H2H to their colleagues. This is reinforced by the finding that 42% of community members heard about the program through their colleagues, underscoring the vital role of “word-of-mouth” communication for program growth.

The H2H initiative has developed a comprehensive set of resources for program participants and more than half (53%) of the H2H Community members reported that they are actively using the H2H website and/or online toolkits to improve readmissions.

On the Path to Reducing Readmissions:  Checking in With Hospital to Home While more than one-third (34%) of cardiologists on the CardioSurve panel are aware of the H2H tools available to them, there are additional opportunities to put these resources in the hands of physicians and care team members throughout the country.

The CardioSurve survey results detail the resources that cardiologists would find most effective for reducing readmissions— patient education handouts (74%), checklists for the care team (70%), website of online resources (43%), data feedback reports (39%), best practice webinars (27%), on-line assessments (27%)—providing guidance for where to steer resources in the future. Additionally, H2H Community members provided insight into some of the constraints that are hindering H2H participation. For example, 44% of members voiced a lack of staffing resources, 36% expressed difficulty incorporating changes into workflow, and 36% reported competing priorities with similar existing readmissions programs. This insight is beneficial for addressing facilities’ needs in the future.

While efforts for reducing readmissions have increased recently, a lot of work still lies ahead and H2H is dedicated to translating these findings into results. To learn more about H2H and enroll in the Challenges, visit http://cvquality.acc.org/Initiatives/H2H.aspx.