MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Healthcare Heart Failure Program has quickly built a national reputation and earned national recognition by cutting hospital re-admissions, improving efficiency in patient care, and developing strategies to improve the patient experience.

In just its third year of existence, it has been named to the Target HF Honor Roll of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Award, an honor that reflects the program’s commitment to AHA standards. It’s the program’s second year on the Gold Plus Award list. It has also earned the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Quality Blue award for the second straight year.

The awards reflect the program’s commitment to its patients during and after their stay through follow-up calls, guidance with medications, and patient education.

The numbers reflect the team’s hard work and significance of its accomplishments. While the number of Heart Failure Program patients has increased from 400 in 2013 to 500 so far this year, re-admissions have decreased from 27 to 20 percent. Re-admissions specific to heart failure have dropped by more than 50 percent since 2012.

“Every member of our heart failure team focuses on each patient as an individual,” said Robert Hull, M.D., who leads the program. “We try to establish a bond that continues from hospitalization through to the outpatient setting.”

The program is supported by Lisa Henry, a nurse practitioner who works with the patients. Of the 10 certified heart failure nurses in West Virginia, seven are part of the WVU Heart Failure Program team.

The team includes an interdisciplinary network of partners throughout WVU Healthcare, such as practitioners from Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy, Nutrition Services, Decision Support, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pharmacy, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Care Management, and Informatics.

It also includes partners like Friends Gift Shop, which supplies each patient with a scale to closely monitor his or her weight and the Medical Center Pharmacy, which has donated red bags to hold medications and educational material.

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ds: 06-19-14