Aurora BayCare Medical Center Among First Selected for American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program

February 06, 2015

Program designed to support heart failure patients & reduce hospital readmissions

Green Bay, Wis. – Aurora BayCare Medical Center is one of 35 hospitals in the country – and the only hospital in Wisconsin – selected to participate in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to reduce heart disease patients' hospital readmissions.

Aurora BayCare kicked off the program on January 29 with a presentation and celebration. Representatives from the ACC, local EMS providers, long–term care facilities and nursing homes, as well as Aurora BayCare physicians and staff were in attendance.

"We are pleased to be one of the 35 hospitals nationwide to participate in this program," said Dr. Scott Weslow, Aurora BayCare interventional cardiologist. "This program will help us enhance our current processes to keep our heart patients healthy and at home after they are discharged from the hospital."

Nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis. Readmissions can be related to issues like stresses within the hospital, fragility on discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions and inability to carry out discharge instructions.

The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program to support a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable. Hospitals chosen were given funding to establish a program that supports a culture of patient–centered care that can be implemented in other hospitals in the future. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.

"The ACC Patient Navigator Program provides evidence–based approaches to reducing hospital readmissions by meeting the unique needs of each patient," said ACC President Patrick O'Gara, M.D., FACC. "Aurora BayCare's dedication to quality is a key component of this program, which emphasizes a team approach to help patients make a seamless and secure transition from the hospital to the home."

Hospitals in the program were selected based on their commitment to quality as demonstrated through participation in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry–GWTG and Hospital to Home Initiative. Nearly 400 hospitals were eligible for the program, with only 35 ultimately selected based on readmission rates, having recognized leaders in cardiology on staff, an established culture of quality already part of the hospital infrastructure and varied geographic location.

Aurora Health Care is a not–for–profit Wisconsin–area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

BayCare Clinic is the largest physician–owned specialty–care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is comprised of over 100 specialty physicians with expertise in more than 20 specialties. BayCare Clinic physicians have served patients in Green Bay and the surrounding region for over 30 years.

The American College of Cardiology is a 47,000–member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, promotes cardiovascular research and bestows credentials on cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit cardiosource.org/ACC.

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Contact:

Rachel Bessert
Aurora Health Care
(920) 288–3638
rachel.bessert@aurora.org

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