SLR Receives Grant to Reduce HF Readmissions

5/9/2012

In April, the United Hospital Fund (UHF), a nonprofit health services research and philanthropic organization, awarded a $50,000 Phase 2 Grant to a team from St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals (SLR) to implement its proposal on reducing heart failure (HF) patient readmissions.

The SLR multidisciplinary group -- led by Marrick Kukin, MD, FACC, Director of the Heart Failure Program, and Cathleen Varley, NP, Chair of the Heart Failure Clinical Initiatives Program -- had previously received a $20,000 Phase 1 Grant from UHF to study the causes of these readmissions and offer specific interventions. The UHF grants are part of the organization’s Preventable Hospital Readmission Initiative, which was launched in 2011.

During the project’s first phase, the SLR team had surveyed 26 heart failure patients and family members to identify causes of hospital readmissions. A key finding was that patients should be better prepared for life at home after discharge.

Addressing this issue, SLR’s proposal for the second phase involves three key components. They include implementing guidelines for a safe hospital discharge, ensuring patients are linked to a medical home where a cardiologist or primary care doctor is available to be called if symptoms worsen, and offering patients a discounted monthly supply of heart failure medication upon discharge.

According to Dr. Kukin, “These efforts should result in better patient outcomes, reduced readmissions and significant benefits to our medical system.”

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