Patients with heart failure: telephone triage

Melissa Duckett

Clinical Issue/Practice Problem: Patients with heart failure (HF) at UIH fail to maintain clinic appointments therefore providing self-care education is limited. The objective of this project was to characterize the callers and utilization of a dedicated HF phone line in an effort to identify self-care of low SES patients in an urban HF program.

Summary of the Supporting Literature: Telehealth improves the self-care of patients with heart failure (HF); however, its effectiveness in patients of low socioeconomic status (SES) is unclear.

Project Implementation: Using consulting behaviors adapted from the situation-specific theory of HF self-care, a dedicated HF phone line was implemented in May 2015.

Outcomes: Data was extracted from voicemails received by a dedicated HF phone line dated 2016-2017 and link to corresponding patient demographics and clinical note in order to evaluate patient demographics, the reason for the call, and temporal factors surrounding the call.

Clinical Implications for Practice and Next Steps: Outcomes from this project can determine the efficacy of the dedicated HF phone line, provide information regarding clinic resource allocation, and provide a realistic pathway for this population to practice HF self-care. In the future, the phone line may be evaluated for patient satisfaction, its role in clinic “show” rates and its longer term effect on HF hospitalizations.