Patient Navigator Program May Help Increase Identification of AMI, HF Patients; Readmission Risk Assessment

A coordinated quality improvement program like ACC's Patient Navigator Program may be associated with increased identification of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF) patients at risk for readmission, according to a study recently published in the American Heart Journal.

Carolyn M. Wu, MD, MS, et al., assessed the impact of interventions aimed at reducing 30-day readmission rates for AMI and HF at 35 hospitals participating in the Patient Navigator Program. Specifically, the researchers looked at two of the 36 performance metrics tracked by the campaign: the number of AMI and HF patients identified before discharge and the number whose readmission risk was assessed. All participating hospitals received quarterly performance reports and developed its own process to assess readmission risk.

At baseline, 24 facilities (68.6%) identified AMI patients predischarge and 28 facilities (80%) identified HF patients. After two years, 34 sites (97.1%) identified both AMI and HF patients before discharge). In addition, the number of facilities that assessed readmission risk for AMI patients increased from nine (25.7%) at baseline to 32 (91.4%), while the number assessing readmission risk for HF increased from 11 (31.4%) to 33 (94.5%).

According to the investigators, more research is needed to determine whether identifying AMI and HF patients reduces readmissions at 30 days or leads to improvement in other clinical outcomes. They conclude that implementation of a coordinated quality improvement project could increase the number of hospitals that identify AMI and HF patients before discharge and assess their readmission risk.

AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI.

Clinical Topics: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: Patient Readmission, Patient Discharge, Patient Navigation, Quality Improvement, Benchmarking, Heart Failure, Risk Assessment, Registries, Myocardial Infarction, Chest Pain, National Cardiovascular Data Registries, Chest Pain MI Registry

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