Cardiac Care

Health System Boosts Cardiac Rehab Rates, Improves Patient Care, with New Referral Process

Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) has been shown to reduce mortality, morbidity and readmissions among patients with ischemic heart disease, but it remains widely underused throughout the United States.

A key reason for this troubling trend, according to one group of researchers, is that the CR referral process is in need of a significant overhaul. The team put its theory to the test, implementing a redesigned process at a large hospital in Philadelphia, and shared the results in JAMA Network Open.

The group’s implanted changes involved developing an “opt-out CR referral decision pathway that used the EHR to automatically identify eligible patients.” Providers would be contacted when a patient was identified, and cardiologists were able to sign CR orders before the patient was sent home. Educational material focused on “the importance and relevance of CR therapy” was also provided to each patient.

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