ACC: Checklist Cuts HF Readmissions
Hospital readmissions for heart failure appear to be dramatically reduced if clinicians take the time to fill out a simple checklist, researchers reported. Only one patient out of 48 (2%) who were treated by doctors who were faithful to a checklist was readmitted to the hospital in 30 days, compared with nine of 48 (20%) matched patients whose physicians did not employ the checklist. The checklist includes 10 medications and whether those drugs have had dose modifications, nine intervention and counseling suggestions such as blood pressure control and smoking counseling, and seven follow-up services and whether they have been scheduled. "This is a very interesting and important idea for getting better care for heart failure patients," said Aaron Kay, MD, a fellow in cardiology at Ohio State University in Columbus, who reviewed the study during a moderated poster session. "The problem is finding a way to get doctors to use it," Kay told MedPage Today.