Investing in Heart Health
In our March Intelligence Report, more than half of leaders expect their cardiovascular service line investments to include population health efforts. HealthLeaders Media Council members discuss how a population health strategy aligns with their cardiovascular service line, and where they are making CV investments.
This article first appeared in the September 2014 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Chief Operating Officer
Huntsville (AL) Hospital Health System
Our biggest focus has been around heart failure. It is nurse practitioner–driven, with physician leadership that manages any heart failure patient in our community who we can get to come to the center. We have nurses and nurse practitioners there who have developed a relationship with the patients to not only manage them clinically but also from a social standpoint to keep them from being readmitted and to keep them compliant. We have had that for years, and we have enhanced the aggressiveness of trying to get people into that program to get ready for population health.
We have done a lot of things with trying to improve our discharge teachings as patients leave here, educating them about their medications and what they need to do with follow-up care. We are starting a program to make sure that patients leave here with their appointment to see their physicians. We started a program to deliver medicine at patients' bedsides before they get discharged to improve medication compliance. We started a program this year to call patients postdischarge. We have a nurse navigator grant that we won this year to case manage the highest-risk cardiac patients in-house and get them into these resources to make sure they get good follow-up care.