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Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia was selected as one of 11 hospitals in the country to participate in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program to support patients with heart failure or unstable angina and those who have had a heart attack. This is the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to keep patients healthy and reduce the rate of readmission after they are discharged from a hospital.
There were 120 hospitals across the country that expressed interest in participating in the first phase of the ACC Patient Navigator Program, only 10 hospitals were selected for the 2013 program launch. Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and the ten other hospitals, were chosen because of their commitment to quality as demonstrated by participation in other ACC initiatives to improve care of cardiac patients. An additional 25 hospitals are slated to join the program by the end of 2015.
“Creating a system for support, for all patients with heart failure and other heart conditions will help optimize our patients’ quality of life,” says D. Lynn Morris, MD, Chair of Cardiovascular Diseases and Director of the Einstein Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “The Patient Navigator Program is a vital part of a preventive care approach to improve our cardiac patients’ care.”
According to the ACC, nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis. Readmissions can be related to issues such as stresses while in the hospital, fragility on discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions and inability to carry out these instructions.
The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program to support a team of caregivers at the selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and within the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable. Chosen hospitals were given funding to establish programs that support patient-centered care and can be implemented in other hospitals in the future. AstraZeneca, which is based in London and has its U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, DE, is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.