Case Study: A Focused Approach to the Management of Heart Failure Patients

There are many examples of programs taking a systematic approach to the treatment of patients with heart failure. The programs offer a wide variety of approaches and treatment options. Some of these programs are focused on all aspects of heart failure care including heart transplantation and some offer services that do not include the tertiary and quaternary procedures. Clearly, it is not the clinical scope but the approach to the clinical program, the program's clinical leadership, the adherence to guideline-based care, the degree and effectiveness of clinical integration and care teams, and the effectiveness of the electronic medical record utilization that drive programs of excellence.

This case study highlights the development of a delivery model redesign and improvement plan in advance of the launch of a ventricular assist device and heart transplant service offering. The goals of the improvement plan were to provide high quality, low variability care in the least acute appropriate care setting.The principles of the redesign project were based on care standardization and the reduction of variability, clinical integration at all levels, the deployment of a well-designed care team and leveraging electronic medical record functionality.

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