HAP’s Achievement Award Spotlight: UPMC Pinnacle > Hospital Association of Pennsylvania


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HAP’s Achievement Award Spotlight: UPMC Pinnacle

July 17, 2019

HAP Achievement AwardUPMC Pinnacle was awarded the 2019 HAP Achievement Award for Excellence in Care for its project, “Heart Failure Hospitalist Team: An Example of Interdisciplinary Excellence,” an initiative to improve care coordination and outcomes for heart failure (HF) patients.

Heart failure is a common condition in the United States, and one that is associated with high mortality and costs. UPMC Pinnacle treats approximately 1,200 heart failure patients each year. While providers at UPMC Pinnacle endeavored to deliver exceptional care and prevent readmissions associated with heart failure, they wanted patients to have greater consistency in the providers they saw and care plans to address their specific needs.

Seeing a need for improving care for the patients it serves, UPMC Pinnacle created a HF Hospitalist service line at one of its facilities. The HF Hospitalist helps to guide patients through the care continuum, learning about their specific needs, evaluating their conditions and progress, and managing their care. Their daily contact with patients and their families includes:

  • Evaluating patients
  • Managing and optimizing patients’ medications
  • Educating patients and families so they can understand and follow treatment plans
  • Introducing the concepts of palliative and hospice care
  • Coordinating care with outpatient providers
  • Supporting patients’ self-management of outpatient care through visits to review action plans, goals of care, medication reconciliation, and education

Through this project, the heart failure team achieved several goals:

  • Decreased length of stay for heart failure patients
  • A nearly 50-percent reduction (to 9%) in the 30-day all-cause readmission rate compared to the readmission rate for heart failure patients not supported by the heart failure hospital team as well as national readmission rate averages
  • Reduced costs

Additionally, the project used paramedics to carry out intravenous diuretic protocols in patients’ homes; provided virtual visits through telemedicine; and utilized technology to monitor patients’ conditions in order to prevent readmissions.

UPMC Pinnacle reported that the project re-energized the heart failure team’s commitment to bolstering multidisciplinary coordination, communications, and patient and family engagement; it plans to expand use of the HF Hospitalist service line at other facilities.

HAP congratulates UPMC Pinnacle for improving the quality and outcomes of care for heart failure patients. Learn more about this project and the rest of the 2019 HAP Achievement Awards at HAP’s website.

Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.

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