Abstract 2741: Implementation of the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Program Improves Quality of Care and Decreases Length of Stay for Hospitalized Congestive Heart Failure Patients
Implementation of the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Program Improves Quality of Care and Decreases Length of Stay for Hospitalized Heart Failure Patients.
Background:The American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) program is an Internet based tool that prompts caregivers to adhere to standards of care for the hospitalized heart failure patient (HF). Utilizing a multi-disciplinary team approach, lead by a physician champion, the GWTG-HF program was implemented at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ. Hypothesis:Utilization of GWTG-HF with a multi-disciplinary team would significantly improve adherence to standards of care for hospitalized HF patients and be associated with a decreased length of stay (LOS).
Methods:During the first quarter of 2005 (Q1– 05) usual care was rendered to hospitalized HF patients without GWTG-HF. With implementation of GWTG-HF during the 3rd quarter of 2005 HF patients were identified. Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs): reviewed the charts; worked collaboratively to support medical resident, private internist and cardiologist physician practices; ensured GWTG-HF standards of care were adhered to; and concurrently entered care information into the GWTG-HF data base. The APNs also served as an educational resource and provided GWTG-HF educational material for patients and their families. Compliance with the 7th Scope of Work Core Measures (7-SWCM) was compared for HF patients between Q1– 05 and the first quarter of 2006 (Q1– 06).
Results:Q1– 05 total HF patients = 208 and Q1– 06 total HF patients = 198. Overall adherence to GWTG standards of care for HF patients improved from 65% (Q1– 05) to 96% (Q1– 06) p<0.0001. There was a 9.6% decrease in average LOS and 11.7% decrease in total LOS after implementation of GWTG. Average and total LOS Q1– 05 was 7.3 and 1512 days. Average and total LOS Q1– 06 was 6.6 and 1335 days, p NS for average LOS and p<0.04 for total LOS.
Conclusions:Implementation of GWTG-HF utilizing a multi-disciplinary team approach lead by a Physician Champion with APNs collaborating with physicians and providing education to hospitalized HF patients significantly improved quality of care which was associated with a significant reduction in total LOS.