Hospitalization for heart failure (HF) places a major burden on healthcare services worldwide, and is a strong predictor of increased mortality especially in the first three months after discharge. Though undesirable, hospitalization is an opportunity to optimize HF therapy and advise clinicians and patients about the importance of continued adherence to HF medication and regular monitoring. The Optimize Heart Failure Care Program (www.optimize-hf.com), which has been implemented in 45 countries, is designed to improve outcomes following HF hospitalization through inexpensive initiatives to improve prescription of appropriate drug therapies, patient education and engagement, and post-discharge planning. It includes best practice clinical protocols for local adaptation, pre- and post-discharge checklists, and 'My HF Passport', a printed and smart phone application to improve patient understanding of HF and encourage involvement in care and treatment adherence. Early experience of the Program suggests that factors leading to successful implementation include support from HF specialists or 'local leaders', regular educational meetings for participating healthcare professionals, multidisciplinary collaboration, and full integration of pre- and post-hospital discharge checklists across care services. The Program is helping to raise awareness of HF and generate useful data on current practice. It is showing how good evidence-based care can be achieved through the use of simple clinician and patient-focused tools. Preliminary results suggest that optimization of HF pharmacological therapy is achievable through the Program, with little new investment. Further data collection will lead to a greater understanding of the impact of the Program on HF care and key indicators of success.
Keywords: Checklist; Heart failure; Hospitalization; My HF Passport; Optimize.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.