Key success criteria for the creation of an outpatient heart failure clinic

Key success criteria for the creation of an outpatient heart failure clinic

July 23, 2019
Cardiology

Effective leadership is critical for the heart failure clinic. Health Care Advisory Board reports greater than 50 percent of clinics are managed by an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP). This allows the physician to focus their time on high intensity care issues. It is important for the care team to understand their roles to work together for the patient. All team members working at top of license will maximize capacity within the clinic.

Is there opportunity to define the workload based on patient and family needs? The physician has an opportunity to see new patients in hospital consults to support the sickest of patients. The ANP may see post discharge visits, and less complex consults resulting in all patients seeing a practitioner who has advanced knowledge in the care of the heart failure patient. Non-clinical staff can manage the administrative tasks, resulting in efficient throughput to support additional capacity in the heart failure clinic.

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A well-coordinated and engaged team is the foundation of a successful heart failure clinic. An understanding and development of dashboards to monitor such key performance indicators as readmission rate, wait times for access to the clinic, use of ACE inhibitors, and monitoring of “Life’s Simple 7” in follow up visits post discharge, to name a few), will support the goals of the heart failure clinic. Finally, an engaged team with the passion to care for patients with heart failure will improve the care long term and optimize the patient and family experience across the care continuum.

About the author: Deb Thompson, MBA, BSN, RN is the senior consulting manager for Cardiology at Philips. Deb brings over 25 years of cardiology nursing and leadership experience. She provides performance improvement strategies with hands-on process change support for interventional as well as noninvasive cardiology in the acute care and outpatient settings.

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