Patient Engagement
Talk
Reducing Heart Failure Readmission Rates (01:13)

The national rate for 30-day heart failure readmissions in the U.S. is 30%, according to Punam Keller, Associate Dean for Innovation and Growth at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. But a pilot study conducted by Dartmouth College achieved a much lower rate of 13.8%.

“One thing that was very important for us was to make sure that [the heart failure team] was satisfied,” says Keller, “that they — in order for this to be a sustainable initiative — enjoyed and thought this was valuable.”

Dartmouth’s pilot intervention for heart failure patients took less than 10 minutes, benefitting both the patient and the provider. Despite the pilot’s small sample size, all survey data from the heart failure team showed significant differences in measures. Team members reported higher satisfaction and wrote such responses as, “I felt I provided more value to my patients than I did before,” and “I empowered my patient more after this intervention than before this intervention was implemented.”

The key lesson from this pilot study? “Focusing on compliance barriers,” says Keller, “is a much more effective technique than focusing on compliance benefits.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016. Watch Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Keller’s talk.

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