The American College of Physicians Foundation (ACPF) has unveiled a quartet of new interventions aimed at improving care of atrial fibrillation (Afib) and stroke prevention.
Hospitalists are a core constituency for the tools, says Doron Schneider, MD, FACP, co-chair of the foundation’s Initiative on Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Prevention and medical director of the Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality at Abington (Pa.) Health System.
“Atrial fibrillation is so common that the hospitalist is going to see it as primary diagnosis … or as a background condition presenting with cellulitis and other conditions,” Dr. Schneider says. “We want them to look at every patient, and if they have Afib, you don’t want to treat the cellulitis and not treat the Afib because the Afib is not presenting. We want them to take a holistic approach.”
The interventions are:
- A 20-page booklet for patients and caregivers titled “Afib: What You and Your Family Should Know.” The idea is to empower patients and their supporters with basic knowledge on how to live with their condition.
- Three patient education videos that cover basic facts, medication issues, and post-discharge tips for living a healthier lifestyle.
- A one-page physician support worksheet to help hospitalists and other physicians assess stroke risk and calculate outpatient bleeding risk.
- A guidebook on how to incorporate ACPF and other interventions into a hospital system’s practices.
Dr. Schneider adds that for “real and sustained change in quality initiatives,” physicians need to improve all parts of a problem. “If you don’t have systems redesigned to allow for education to be delivered or to get content to doctors, it’s never going to happen,” he says. “A lot of material is produced in the world that never gets to the bedside.”