An innovative collaborative care model to improve transitions of care (TOC) for patients with heart failure (HF) is described.Summary
As part of a broad effort by New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) to reduce avoidable 30-day hospital readmissions and decrease associated healthcare costs through a team-centered, value-based approach to patient care, an interprofessional team was formed to help reduce hospital readmissions among discharged patients with HF. The team consists of 5 TOC pharmacists, 4 community paramedics, and 4 advanced care practitioners (ACPs) who collaborate to coordinate care and prevent 30-day readmissions among patients with HF transitioning from the hospital to the community setting. Each team member plays an integral role in providing high-quality postdischarge care. The TOC pharmacist ensures that patients have access to all needed medications, provides in-home medication reconciliation services, makes medication recommendations, and alerts the team of potential medication-related issues. Community paramedics conduct home visits consisting of physical and mental health assessments, diet and disease state education, reviews of medication bottles and education on proper medication use, and administration of i.v. diuretics to correct volume status under provider orders. The ACPs offer close clinic follow-up (typically initiated within 7 days of discharge) as well as long-term HF management and education.Conclusion
At NHRMC, collaboration among healthcare professionals, including a TOC pharmacist, community paramedics, and ACPs, has assisted in the growth and expansion of services provided to patients with HF.