Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation

CHF Discharge Instruction Re-Design


How might we provide the information patients need when they need it?

Opportunity

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients are at high risk of readmission and other adverse health outcomes. Along with issues of access, adherence to care plan, and behavioral barriers, patient education is a key area of focus for many looking to improve the health outcomes of this population.

Going to patients’ homes and seeing what they did with the information provided was surprising. Many patients did not reference the literature we sent them home with and did not retain important information.

Other patients had taken the materials given to them and developed their own systems and cognitive tools to help them manage the information and tasks they needed to accomplish to stay healthy at home.

Based on our findings we decided to focus on the following problem definition:“We provide patients with too much information at the wrong time.”

The current model of patient education attempts to make the patient an expert before they leave the hospital, while they and their loved ones are in a state of high anxiety.


Intervention

Based on this problem definition we posed the question “How might we provide the information patients need when they need it?”.

Focusing on symptom management, we developed a temporary “mock” service where team members worked directly on the hospital floor with several patients to deliver customized information materials to be reviewed on an ongoing basis and allowed patients to track their “healthy actions” via text message to a service mobile phone number.


Impact

While this experiment only involved only a few patients over a short period of time, the experience highlighted additional considerations around the needs of different “types” of patients and patient education strategies.

As we continue to explore this space, insights gathered are being used to inform a number of directions and experiments within this problem space.

Collaborators:

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Division
Hospital of the University
of Pennsylvania

Department of General Internal Medicine Division
Hospital of the University
of Pennsylvania

Department of Clinical Effectiveness & Quality Improvement
Hospital of the University
of Pennsylvania

Resources:
Full Case Study:
> CHF Discharge Instruction

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