Improving Heart Failure Care


Heart failure is a common and debilitating medical condition. In the general population, it contributes to increasing rates of morbidity and mortality partly as more people are living longer. As part of its Act on Heart Failure initiative, Siemens Healthineers offers a dedicated consulting product for healthcare providers. Although survival rates are improving thanks to more effective treatment of acute cardiac events, still only 61 percent of patients diagnosed with heart failure after a myocardial infarction survive the following five years.1 According to a recently published report from the American Heart Association, heart failure prevalence among Americans over the age of 20 increased between 2011 and 2014 to a level of 6.5 million.1 Heart failure is also costly to society. In the USA, an estimated USD 30.7 billion is spent on treating heart failure each year.2

A challenging disease pattern
Healthcare providers face many challenges with this condition. Heart failure can be caused by a number of underlying diseases and is often correlated with multiple comorbidities. This makes heart failure management highly complex, from diagnosis, through to treatment and follow-up. Clearly defined clinical structures and processes are key to improving the quality and affordability of outcomes. Treating heart failure often involves a multitude of healthcare providers with a range of diagnostic and therapeutic options, as well as heart failure-related quality measures (e.g., 30-day readmission rates).

Act on heart failure initiative
As part of its Act on Heart Failure (AoHF) initiative, Siemens Healthineers offers a dedicated consulting product for healthcare providers. All heart failure carerelated processes are analyzed in detail individually for each hospital: from admission, to acute and chronic care. This also includes adjunct processes such as neighborhood care or outpatient facilities.

Process Maturity Analysis
The assessment is based on a process maturity analysis that covers 38 process areas with 132 requirements and over 1,400 defined criteria for heart failure care – both for inpatients and outpatients. The model allows for the structured assessment of all process areas, as shown in the graphic. An overall heart failure process maturity score is also given based on structured interviews with hospital staff and process observations on-site. AoHF has been validated at world-leading healthcare institutions. The approach delivers comprehensive insights into an institution’s current care processes and shows where improvements are indicated most. Moreover, an integrated simulation tool enables projections of how changes could impact processes in the future. The hospital and its associated outpatient network can use these findings to improve its general operations and increase quality in clinical outcomes.