American College of Cardiology expand programme to lower readmission rates after myocardial infarction

Mary Norine Walsh

According to an American College of Cardiology (ACC) press release, hundreds of hospitals across the USA will have access to tools and resources to help improve care and lower readmission rates for myocardial infarction patients as part of the college’s expanded Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI Quality Campaign. 

With support from AstraZeneca, the expanded programme will provide hospitals participating in the ACC’s ACTION Registry the opportunity to transform care by sharing successful strategies, mentorship and specialised tools and resources. In addition, 15 of the original 35 hospitals from the first phase of the Patient Navigator Program will focus on identifying best practices for improving patient care and readmissions, including 30 and 90 days follow up post hospital discharge—an increasing area of focus for proposed payment and reimbursement models.

The press release reports that a total of 35 US hospitals participated in the initial Patient Navigator Program, which launched in 2013 and focused on reducing 30-day hospital readmissions for myocardial infarction and heart failure patients. Hospitals participating in the programme reported increases in the number of myocardial infarction patients assessed for risk of readmissions and greater understanding among myocardial infarction and heart failure patients about their medications. In addition, the hosptials were able to reach both groups of patients with education and community resources aimed at ensuring smoother patient transitions from hospital to home. Results will be presented in greater detail at 2018 ACC Annual Scientific Session (10–12 March, Orlando, USA).

ACC president Mary Norine Walsh, comments: “Since the original Patient Navigator Program launched, hospitals and cardiovascular care team members have led the way in developing effective ways to help manage patients’ heart health after they leave the hospital. The Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI aims to build on what we have learned to help hospitals across the country reduce readmission rates while improving patients’ long-term outcomes.”

Hospitals that enrol in the Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI access evidence based toolkits, self-assessment tools, a learning community of national experts and peer colleagues, and an ACTION Registry dashboard specifically designed to track Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI metrics. The select 15 diplomat hospitals focus on reducing 90-day readmissions for myocardial infarction patients and provide mentorship for wider adoption of the programme across other institutions.


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