Improving recovery time following heart transplantation: the role of the multidisciplinary health care team
Maureen G Roussel,1 Noreen Gorham,2 Lynn Wilson,2 Abeel A Mangi2
1Heart and Vascular Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA; 2Center for Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac Transplantation, Yale New Haven Heart and Vascular Institute, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA
Background: The care of cardiac transplant patients is complex requiring a finely orchestrated endeavor to save a patient’s life. Given the chronic and complex nature of these patients, multiple disciplines are involved in their care. Recognizing difficulties with communication among team members and striving for improved efficiencies in our pretransplant listing process and in our inpatient care, our team was prompted to change the existing approach to patient care related to heart transplantation.
Methods: Daily multidisciplinary rounds were instituted and the format of the weekly Multidisciplinary Review Committee (MDRC) meetings was modified with the list of attendees broadened to include a larger interdisciplinary team. Additionally, the approach to patient care was analyzed for process improvement.
Results: The quality improvements are improved communication and throughput, quantified in an 85% decrease in time to complete transplant evaluation, a 37% decrease in median length of stay posttransplantation, and a 33% reduction in the 30 day readmission rate. In addition, pre- and posttransplant caregivers now participate in MDRC in person or via an electronic meeting platform to support the continuum of care. Quality metrics were chosen and tracked via a transparent electronic platform allowing all involved to assess progress toward agreed upon goals. These were achieved in an 18 month time period following the recruitment of new leadership and invested team members working together as a multidisciplinary team to improve the quality of cardiac transplant care.
Discussion: Implementation of daily multidisciplinary rounds and expansion of the attendees for the MDRC meetings improved care related to heart transplantation.
Keywords: multidisciplinary rounds, transplant, communication
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