Ask the Experts: Heart Failure Accreditation Services

Maghee Disch

Maghee Disch, MSN, RN, CNL, CHFN, AACC
Accreditation Service Line Specialist

Maghee Disch has spent her entire medical career working with the Heart Failure patient population. Her knowledge and expertise of patient care delivery is both respected and valued within her field. Disch also serves as a committee member for both Heart Failure Society of American and American Association of Heart Failure Nurses. Most recently, Disch and a team of Heart Failure experts have developed and launched the third and newest version of Heart Failure Accreditation. With a focus on decreasing mortality and improving quality of life HF v3 is reaching new heights in elevating the management of the Heart Failure population.

Q: What is the foundational mission of Heart Failure Accreditation Services?
A: My personal mission, which aligns with our organization is reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease. The HF tool was created to decrease death and improve quality of life through process improvement and optimal patient care delivery systems. Our patients and their families remain at the center of all we do and that includes the build of all of our products.

Q: The Heart Failure (HF) Accreditation platform was just overhauled, revamped and relaunched . . . including a new designation for Advanced HF, what does this mean for Accreditation?
A: Recognizing the growing number of LVAD and Transplant facilities it was deemed necessary to add more complete criteria and processes for these type of institutions. The larger academic facility requires different strategies versus a rural or community center.

Q: Can you give an example of the new criteria?
A: For example, it is Mandatory that the facility has a process in place to objectively identify patients who fail to respond/progress clinically which includes a referral/consult to the appropriate provider (Cardiology, HF Cardiologist, Advanced HF center, Palliative Medicine, etc.)

Q: How can member hospitals analyze the data for Observation utilization? How does that work?
A: The Calculated Measures or metrics compiled from our unique database give visualization of length of stay for all levels of care. In addition to this, facilities are able to track Observation order set utilization, rate of Cardiology consult and Observation to Inpatient conversion. This information is vital to understanding and evaluating the processes within Observation Services.

Q: Could you have used this type of data platform in your previous clinical work at a large academic medical center?
A: Most definitely, this type of patient level data would have been extremely beneficial. Working in such a large institution I was unable to get many of the data points I desired unless I kept track of them on my own through a self-created and very simplistic database. Without the right data it was very difficult for me to show administration (C-suite) where there were opportunities for improvement.

Q: How can hospitals expect to improve all value based purchasing areas and not just 30 day readmissions with the new tool?
A: With our resources and criteria hospitals will be able to increase specialized knowledge and decrease variance in care. With standardized order sets and increased order set utilization metrics will improve in all areas not just one.