Abstract 18944: Efficacy of Clinical Notifications to Health Care Providers in Management of Heart Failure Patients
Introduction: Adherence to guideline recommendations for patients with heart failure improves short and long-term outcomes, and can potentially reduce healthcare costs.
Hypothesis: Written communication to care providers of individuals with heart failure with reduced systolic function (HFrEF) will result in better adherence to guidelines.
Methods: We prospectively enrolled providers of all outpatients with HFrEF at Oregon Health and Science University in 2012. We reviewed adherence to six evidence-based HF therapies in each patient [ACE-I/ARB, beta blocker, aldosterone antagonist, anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation or flutter, CRT, and ICD]. We excluded patients with destination therapy, resolution of HFrEF, lost to follow-up or death. After implementation of exclusion criteria, of 320 patients evaluated, 114 patients were ultimately included. These patients’ providers were randomized to either receiving a standardized written communication (intervention) or none (control). The letter highlighted 2013 ACCF/AHA heart failure management guidelines, and was sent by US mail to providers in intervention group. Six months later, we re-evaluated all patients according to the same criteria at the outset.
Results: Optimal medical therapy (OMT) in intervention group improved in only 9% of patients who were previously sub-optimally treated (p 0.83), but 31% of patients who had already been on OMT experienced deescalated therapies despite no clear documentation (p 0.65). In control group, 11% of patients had increased treatment according to guidelines, and 9% of patients who had already been receiving OMT had deescalated treatment. There were no new ICDs implanted as a result of intervention, while 6.5% of patients in control group did receive ICD (p 0.46).
Conclusions: Identification of patients with HFrEF and assessment of adherence to guideline-based therapies is now feasible via electronic medical record enquiry. Written notifications do not result in improved adherence to evidence-based guidelines, nor do these letters seem to alter provider behavior at all. We speculated that the lack of response is a direct result of “notification-fatigue”, and that alternative provider behavior modification techniques need to be evaluated.
Author Disclosures: R.M. Akhavein: None. J. Sklenar: None. J. Minnier: None. S. Heitner: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.