Heart Failure

Success Stories

ICU Avoidance: Lowering Costs, Patient Risk, and LOS

A stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) is both costly and risky. In a sobering example of the latter, nearly one third of patients admitted to the ICU experience delirium, a state of cognitive impairment that can increase risk of death in the hospital. Still, many cardiovascular patients need intensive care that can only be provided safely in an intensive care unit, requiring hospitals to assure enough beds and skilled ICU staff for these patients—while quickly identifying which patients can receive care as good or better in another unit.
Allina Health has achieved this dual objective with a concerted ICU avoidance strategy for specific complex sub-populations of cardiovascular (CV) patients. The foundation of this strategy is risk-informed decisions about which patients can avoid the ICU; clinical staff education; and an analytics platform and enterprise data warehouse (EDW) from Health Catalyst that enables CV care leaders to monitor safety metrics for those patients who avoid a stay in the ICU. So far, Allina Health’s efforts have resulted in the following achievements:

636 additional ICU days made available for more critically ill patients by employing ICU avoidance strategies
One-day reduction length of stay (LOS) for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) patients
$589,000 cumulative cost savings

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Data-Driven Approach to Improving Cardiovascular Care and Operations Leads to $75M in Improvements

Health spending in the United States is greater than the gross domestic product of most nations, and the costs for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke care alone total $193.1 billion. CVD accounts for approximately one out of every three deaths in the U.S. and contributes to the shorter life expectancy of Americans. Thirty-five percent of CVD related deaths occur before the age of 75 years, and 19 percent before the age of 65.
Allina Health is a large integrated healthcare delivery network operating in Minnesota and western Wisconsin that includes three large cardiac centers. Due to the prevalence and mortality rate of CVD, leaders at Allina Health recognized that they needed to focus on cardiovascular health in order to truly impact the population health and patient outcomes of the communities they serve.
By leveraging real-time data from its enterprise data warehouse (EDW), Allina Health effectively identified and addressed clinical practice variation and operational issues affecting cardiovascular care and costs. In doing so, the health system realized more than $75 million in performance enhancement savings and revenue increase over a four-year period by focusing on supply chain, lab test and blood utilization, clinical practice changes and clinical documentation improvement.
 

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New Initiative Supports Cardiac Patients on a Better Path to Health

With nearly one in four Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure (HF) being readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of discharge, healthcare organizations like MultiCare are primed to develop care improvement initiatives focused on reducing readmissions. MultiCare has had a HF collaborative for several years, focused on standardizing and increasing the quality of care for its cardiac patients—resulting in a 24 percent improvement in HF readmission rates and an 18 percent improvement in mortality rates. With this proven commitment to its patients, MultiCare was selected for participation in the American College of Cardiology’s Patient Navigator program, opening up the opportunity to provide cardiac patients with an advocate dedicated to helping patients navigate their pathway to improvement. Through participation in this patient navigator program, MultiCare has ability to further bring the patient’s voice to the forefront and improve its quality of cardiac care even more dramatically in the future.

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How to Reduce Heart Failure Readmission Rates: One Hospital’s Story

An estimated 24 percent of patients who are discharged with heart failure (HF) are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Learn how this healthcare organization engaged physicians and multidisciplinary teams to improve their outcomes. Deploying evidence best practices—medication reconciliation, follow-up appointments, follow-up phone calls and teach back—they reduced and sustained their 30-day HF readmission rates by 29 percent, and their 90-day HF readmissions by 14 percent. They have seen their process measures increase significantly: 120 percent increase in follow-up appointments; 78 percent increase in pharmacist medication reconciliation; 87 percent increase in follow-up phone calls; 84 percent increase in teach-back interventions.

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Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program for Heart Failure: A Healthcare System Case Study

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is tying reimbursement to hospital readmissions. Healthcare systems are investigating hospital readmissions reduction programs to improve patient outcomes and avoid CMS penalties. Learn how this healthcare system, determined to improve heart failure care for its patients, increased their documented follow-up appointments by 270 percent.

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