Hospital team slashes cardiac re-admissions

A hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has had dramatic success in managing heart disease by instituting a focused program emphasizing education, doctor interaction and individually tailored rehab programs. To manage heart patients, Hospital Kuala Lumpur has pulled together a multidisciplinary team including pharmacists, physiotherapists, dietitians, occupational therapists and a consultant physician. The idea is to provide continuity of care and build a strong relationship with the patient which helps them to self-manage their care more effectively.

Prior to recommending treatment. the team assesses risk factors and cardiac status. Patients then attend weekly educational meetings, participate in one hour a week of physiotherapy, and meet with the doctors who saw them as an inpatient. At the end of the six-week program, the team assesses the patient's functioning, then, if appropriate, refers them to occupational therapy.

The results have been dramatic. As a result of this program, less than five percent of patients in the program are readmitted. What's more, 82 percent go back to their normal lifestyle if aggressively managed. The number of patients smoking also dropped from 56 percent to four percent. An added bonus was that patients enjoyed added self-confidence and an improved sense of well-being.

- for more information, take a look at this article in the New Straits Times.

PLUS: Yale University researchers have published research suggesting that 30-day mortality rates should be included in measuring hospital performance in treating acute myocardial infarction. Simply measuring physician performance doesn't offer enough information, the researchers say. Article