Today at the Scientific Sessions meeting of the American Heart Association, University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center heart failure expert Todd Koelling, M.D., will present data from a two-year study involving more than 2,500 heart failure patients treated at 14 community hospitals in and around Flint, Mich.
Significantly lower death rates in the month after hospitalization were seen among those patients treated at eight hospitals that cooperated to find ways to deliver proven care and educate patients about their treatment, compared with six hospitals that didn't take part in the cooperative effort. Rehospitalization rates also dropped, by 22 percent, when doctors and nurses used a "toolkit" of heart failure specific standard admission orders, in-patient clinical pathways, and discharge checklists to make sure that patients didn't miss out on treatments or counseling.
All patients in the study had heart failure, a chronic and disabling condition that affects 5 million Americans, mainly heart attack survivors and longtime high blood pressure patients. Heart failure is the most common heart-related cause of hospitalization in America, responsible for about 1 million hospital stays each year.
The new data echo the significant drops in mortality and complications that were achieved in a similar project in heart attack patients, a project also co-led by U-M heart specialists. Both projects are sponsored by the American College of Cardiology as part of its Guidelines Applied in Practice or GAP project, which seeks to ensure that all hospitalized heart patients receive proven treatments, counseling for lifestyle
Contact: Kara Gavin
University of Michigan Health System