Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI Aims to Reduce MI Readmissions Nationally

Hundreds of hospitals across the U.S. have access to tools and resources to help improve care and lower readmission rates for myocardial infarction (MI) patients as part of ACC's expanded Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI quality campaign.

With support from founding sponsor AstraZeneca, the expanded program is providing hospitals participating in ACC's ACTION Registry the opportunity to transform care by sharing successful strategies, mentorship, and specialized tools and resources. In addition, 15 of the original 35 hospitals from the first phase of the Patient Navigator Program will focus on identifying best practices for improving patient care and readmissions, including 30 and 90 days follow-up post-hospital discharge – an increasing area of focus for proposed payment and reimbursement models.

"Since the original Patient Navigator Program launched, hospitals and cardiovascular care team members have led the way in developing effective ways to help manage patients' heart health after they leave the hospital," says ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. "The Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI aims to build on what we have learned to help hospitals across the country reduce readmission rates while improving patients' long-term outcomes."

A total of 35 U.S. hospitals participated in the initial Patient Navigator Program, which launched in 2013 and focused on reducing 30-day hospital readmissions for MI and heart failure patients. Hospitals participating in the program reported increases in the number of MI patients assessed for risk of readmissions and greater understanding among MI and heart failure patients about their medications. In addition, they were able to reach both groups of patients with education and community resources aimed at ensuring smoother patient transitions from the hospital to home.

"The progress from the ACC Patient Navigator Program has provided great evidence into the importance of putting programs in place to address transition of care for patients following a heart attack," says Rod Wooten, vice president, CVMD, AstraZeneca. "As hospitals continue to seek evidence-based strategies to improve quality of care, our hope is that providing continued support to the Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI will address the important topic of reducing MI readmissions for patients nationally."

Hospitals that enroll in the Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI have access to evidence based toolkits, self-assessment tools, a learning community of national experts and peer colleagues, and an ACTION Registry dashboard specifically designed to track Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI metrics. The select 15 Diplomat Hospitals focus on reducing 90-day readmissions for MI patients and providing mentorship for wider adoption of the program across other institutions.

Learn more about the program at

Clinical Topics: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: Patient Readmission, Patient Navigation, Patient Transfer, Self-Assessment, Mentors, Follow-Up Studies, Patient Discharge, Heart Failure, Registries, Myocardial Infarction

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