New Studies at ACC Scientific Sessions Reveal Team-based Care and Patient Education Key to Positive Health Outcomes

CHICAGO, Ill. – New studies released Saturday in a press conference at the American College of Cardiology reveal that effective patient communication and understanding key to adherence and positive patient outcomes.

One study from St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Mich. found that a simple checklist aimed at making sure that heart failure patients are discharged with the correct medication and information increases compliance and cuts readmission. USA Today reports the details of this study. 

Another study shows that if patients are more informed about the need for a follow-up EKG when they come to the emergency room with chest pain they are more likely to schedule these tests than those who don’t understand the risks. In this same study, when patients who came into the emergency room with chest pain were scheduled EKG appointments immediately, compliance rose nearly 75%. In this case, emergency departments were directly connected to cardiology in order to give the patient a time when they could return the next day.

These studies indicate that improving patient-centered care delivery and patient understanding has an impact on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and/or events.

“It seems like a simple concept, but one that health care professionals have had difficulty with for quite from time,” says Barbara Flectcher, RN, MN, FPCNA, FAAN, FAHA, Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, College of Health, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida and Project Development Chair on the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association Executive Board of Directors. “It is extremely difficult for patients to make informed decisions about their own health, especially when they don’t understand. If patients are more informed about the risk of a heart attack, they’ll be more likely to act. That information needs to come from their health care providers.”

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association will explore this topic in a joint session with the American College of Cardiology on Monday, March 26 that focuses on patient-centered care, patient adherence, patient education, and maximizing team efforts for improving patient outcomes.

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