University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute Launches Echo Alert Program
June 23, 2020
Effort part of goal to help reduce heart failure admissions
UH Clinical Update | June 2020
The Valve and Structural Heart Disease Center at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute has launched an “Echo Alert" program, part of our continuous efforts to improve the quality of care provided to patients.
According to Guilherme Attizzani, MD, and Alan Markowitz, MD, the Center's directors, the purpose of this quality initiative is two-fold: One, to assist with identifying patients who may benefit from a consultation with the Valve and Structural Heart Disease team when considering surgical or percutaneous heart valve intervention, and two, to collaborate with the ordering physician in connecting patients with the appropriate consultant. Ensuring streamlined communication with providers is key to maintaining seamless and accessible care for patients.
How does the Echo Alert work? A standardized process has been established across UH using a software program that screens all echocardiograms for severe aortic stenosis. When an echo meets the criteria for severe aortic stenosis, an alert is generated to the Valve and Structural Heart Disease team, who will then share the findings with the ordering physician via a notification letter. This letter contains information regarding available resources and information for referral to the team. Providers with patients whose echocardiograms have been flagged might also receive a phone call from the team.
The ultimate goal with this project, Dr. Attizzani and Dr. Markowitz says, is to allow for improved tracking of patients with a severe aortic stenosis result and whether they have had follow-up. Aortic valve stenosis has been is considered to be an under-treated condition. Being aware of the echo findings earlier and therefore treating these patients earlier will likely drive down heart failure admissions – an important population health goal.
“We believe that this program will support our efforts of early identification, early treatment, and assist our providers with close follow-up, timely specialty referrals and ultimately a decrease in heart failure morbidity and mortality," Dr. Attizzani says.
“The goal is always partnership and collaboration to deliver excellent and timely care to our patients," Dr. Markowitz adds. “This new program is just one more example of that."