Direct Telephonic Communication in a Heart Failure Transitional Care Program: An observational study

Ken S. Ota, David S. Beutler, Hassam Sheikh, Jessica L. Weiss, Dallin Parkinson, Peter Nguyen, Richard D. Gerkin, Akil I. Loli


Background: This study investigated the trend of phone calls in the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (BGSMC) Heart Failure Transitional Care Program (HFTCP). The primary goal of the HFTCP is to reduce 30-Day readmissions for heart failure patients by using a multi-pronged approach.

Methods: This study included 104 patients in the HFTCP discharged over a 51-week period who had around-the-clock telephone access to the Transitionalist. Cellular phone records were reviewed. This study evaluated the length and timing of calls.

Results: A total of 4398 telephone calls were recorded of which 39% were inbound and 61% were outbound. This averaged to 86 calls per week. During the “Weekday Daytime” period, Eighty-five percent of the totals calls were made. There were 229 calls during the “Weekday Nights” period with 1.5 inbound calls per week. The “Total Weekend” calls were 10.2% of the total calls which equated to a weekly average of 8.8.

Conclusions: Our experience is that direct, physician-patient telephone contact is feasible with a panel of around 100 HF patients for one provider. If the proper financial reimbursements are provided, physicians may be apt to participate in similar transitional care programs. Likewise, third party payers will benefit from the reduction in unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Cardiol Res. 2013;4(4-5):145-151


Transitional care; Transitionalist; Heart failure; Telephone; Telemonitoring

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