Valley’s practice was one of only 12 heart failure practices to receive a $10,000 grant toward expenses related to participating in the 12-month national forum, which starts this November. “We are excited to collaborate with expert clinicians in the field of heart failure cardiology,” said Dr. Abbate. “I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and learning best practices from thought leaders in the field.”
The Best Practices Heart Failure Collaborative provides participating organizations the opportunity to work together in a series of off-site and web-based meetings to learn and share the best approaches for performance measurement, patient care, and operational efficiency. One of the primary focuses will be reducing heart failure related re-admission rates.
“Participation in the AMGA Best Practices in Managing Patients with Heart Failure Collaborative will give these groups mission-critical experience in engaging primary care and specialty departments in performance measurement and improvement for patients with heart failure and addressing the risk factors that contribute to this disease,” said Donald W. Fisher, PhD, CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA.
Dr. Abbate and her clinical team will specifically work with the collaborative on redesigning and standardizing their heart failure patient discharge process in a way that addresses the complexities that come with having many different people involved in a patient’s discharge, including the patient’s primary physician. “We will work on creating a standardized discharge process that better facilitates post-discharge coordination of patient care,” explains Dr. Abbate.
Valley’s Heart Failure Outpatient Transitional Care program started as a pilot project in 2012 with just a handful of patients; it now accommodates over 300 patients and is steadily increasing in size. The 30-day readmission rate for heart failure patients who participate in Valley’s program is 7.6 percent, which is significantly lower than the national average 30-day readmission rate OF 21 percent.
One of the greatest strengths of Valley’s Heart Failure Outpatient program is its multidisciplinary team. “It takes a village to care for a patient with heart failure, and Valley has created a village with many talented and caring professionals to support patients and their families,” Dr. Abbate said. “All team members strive to empower patients by providing education on heart failure disease management. We pride ourselves on timely communication.”