It turns out that messages around patient follow-up practices could yield a competitive advantage.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, aggressive device therapy, more frequent follow-ups and better heart-failure management programs may help decrease mortality and readmission rates of heart-failure patients.
“We evaluated which components of the one-week follow-up visit offered the greatest incremental value in predicting cardiovascular rehospitalization and mortality,” said coauthor John Spertus, professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.
Using Cox models, c-statistics and integrated discrimination improvements (IDI), researchers looked at a variety of factors that impacted outcomes.
Spertus said they concluded that a comprehensive assessment one week after hospital discharge may represent the best strategy for identifying HF patients at highest risk for adverse outcomes.
Components of the assessment included:
• patient history
• review of medications
• targeted physical examination
• laboratory and health status assessments
This study made me think about how we can communicate competitive advantages that go beyond the initial procedure.
One of our cardiologist clients likes to talk about the concept of “longitudinal care,” the idea that he and his staff follow patients far beyond their hospital stay.
He goes so far as to say that the cardiology team becomes almost like members of their patients’ extended families.
I have a feeling that if we really examine the way things work in our hospitals we may find more great examples that create real competitive advantages. How many hospital ads have you seen that go beyond talking about the great doctors, great nurses and overall great care?
I think we should challenge ourselves to be more specific about how we deliver that care in quantitative ways that lead to better patient outcomes.
We may just find the path to more relevant competitive differentiation.