Jan 24

MU Health Care Surpasses Readmissions Goals for Congestive Heart Failure

1/24/19 | Empowering Wellness

MU Health Care Surpasses Readmissions Goals for Congestive Heart Failure

To improve patient outcomes, MU Health Care staff set a goal to lower congestive heart failure (CHF) readmissions by 5%. The EHR intervention project proved so successful, MU Health Care cut CHF readmission numbers by nearly a third. The project received the MU Health Care CEO Award, which recognizes innovative solutions to complex problems.

The improvement team worked with cardiologists and other key stakeholders to build tools and develop an algorithm within the EHR to lower CHF readmissions. The algorithm digs through EHR data, comparing information from the current admission and the patient’s medical history to determine if the patient may have CHF. If the algorithm identifies the patient, it prompts several possible actions. For example, in some cases, a physician receives an alert informing him or her the patient potentially suffers from heart failure. In most instances, however, when a patient is identified with heart failure, the provider does not receive an alert.

To remove ordering burden and alert fatigue, the algorithm automatically fires certain tasks to appropriate care team members. For example, it prompts nurses to take daily weight and inputs and outputs, patients to view CHF-related videos and the pharmacy and nutrition teams to perform specific tasks. The cardiac rehabilitation team also receives tasks for education and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.

Communication between teams is vital,” said S. Hasan Naqvi, MD, associate chief medical officer. “Using technology allows us to increase communication, better assess patients, and ultimately, make significant improvements in patient outcomes.

Projects like this, where IT staff join clinical performance improvement teams, bring success with the combination of the robust IT solutions and the diligent work of MU Health Care clinicians.

This algorithm is now available as a standard for all Cerner Millennium implementations.