Shared Medical Appointments to Improve Self-Care Actions in the Adult Heart Failure Patient
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Heart failure affects about 5.7 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of hospitalizations of people over 65 years of age. In 2010, the CDC estimated that heart failure costs the nation $30.7 billion each year. The purpose of the quality improvement intervention was to determine if the evidence-based shared medical appointment model improves self-care actions as measured by the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index and decreases heart failure hospital admissions in the adult heart failure population. The quasi-experimental intervention included four adult patients with a diagnosis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who receive their primary care at a family medicine clinic associated with a Midwest university hospital. Participants met for their heart failure medical appointments in a group setting once a week for four weeks to engage in a multidisciplinary education program. Due to limited participation, this quality improvement project did not yield an opportunity for outcome evaluation. Although barriers to group appointments exist, shared medical appointments have been shown to have positive effects on both patient outcomes and patient experiences and can be used to help lessen the economic burden of heart failure.
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