Newswise — NEW YORK (April 16, 2014) – Montefiore Medical Center has been selected as one of 15 hospitals in the country to participate in the American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program. This first-of-its-kind program in Cardiology is designed to support hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick return to the hospital.
“We are honored to be selected for this important pilot program. Improving transitions of care for patients with heart disease and reducing readmissions are a constant focus at Montefiore and are a growing area of concern for healthcare as a whole,” said Ileana Piña, M.D., M.P.H., associate chief, Academic Affairs, Division of Cardiology, Montefiore, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “The Patient Navigator Program will allow us to support a team of experts focused on these patients and will allow for the appropriate care and education to be offered, thus improving outcomes.”
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 like stresses within the hospital, fragility on discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions and inability to carry out discharge instructions.
The Patient Navigator Program Team at Montefiore consists of a cardiologist, a nurse with heart failure care experience, a rehabilitation professional with exercise therapy experience and a PharmD. The team serves as the patient’s advocate for the totality of their transition of care and aims to discharge patients on a timely basis, identify those who are high risk for readmission and provide resources to help prevent avoidable readmissions.
“We believe strongly in the team approach to medicine, especially for patients suffering from serious heart conditions” said Dr. Piña. “In addition to our core team, we also include nutritionists, mental health experts and social workers in this process. We are prepared to offer any support needed to make a patient’s transition home a success.”
The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program to support a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable. Hospitals chosen were given funding to establish a program in support of a culture of patient-centered care that can be implemented in other hospitals in the future. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.
“The ACC Patient Navigator Program will serve as a test for innovative, patient-centered solutions to address issues that impact patient health and patient readmissions,” said ACC President John G. Harold, M.D., M.A.C.C. “Montefiore is a pioneer in a new approach to heart disease treatment and care that puts emphasis on a team approach to meeting patients’ ongoing needs and helping patients make a seamless transition from the hospital to the home.”
By the end of 2015, the ACC will enroll at least 35 hospitals in the Patient Navigator Program.
About Montefiore Medical Center As the University Hospital and academic medical center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is renowned for its clinical excellence, scientific discovery and commitment to its community. Recognized among the top hospitals nationally and regionally by U.S. News & World Report, Montefiore provides compassionate, patient- and family-centered care and educates the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore is consistently named in U.S. News' "America's Best Children's Hospitals." With four hospitals, 1,512 beds and more than 84,000 annual admissions, Montefiore is an integrated health system seamlessly linked by advanced technology. State-of-the-art primary and specialty care is provided through a network of more than 150 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. Montefiore's partnership with Einstein advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. The medical center derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community, and continues to be on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care. For more information please visit www.montefiore.org and www.cham.org. Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTube.
The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit CardioSource.org/ACC.