Most CHF patients are under the care of cardiologists or primary care physicians, who may or may not be aware of hospice programs and how they can serve cardiology patients. Outreach to cardiologists is one way programs can reach heart disease patients and work with them on end-of-life issues.
Teams have found many ways to identify patients and refer them to care management programs, primarily by working directly with hospital cardiology units, primary care doctors, and cardiologists. Using its computerized medical records, one team generated a list of all patients whose medical records included mention of heart disease. This list proved to be too broad, and the team tried a different tactic: A team member visited cardiologists, who reviewed their patient lists and identified patients who were not likely to be alive in a year.
16.2.1 Case Study - Community Hospitals Indianapolis
16.2.2 Case Study - Hope Hospice
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This online version of the book Improving Care for the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Health Care Managers and Clinicians is provided with permission of Americans for Better Care of the Dying [ www.abcd-caring.org ] and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
For further information on quality improvement in end-of-life care visit The Palliative Care Policy Center [ www.medicaring.org ].