0428-News-Heart failure_Blog

A three-year, $2 million research study on heart failure care in the emergency department has been awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to a joint research team from Vanderbilt University and the American Heart Association.

The study goal is to improve outcomes for heart failure patients discharged from hospital emergency departments by increasing patient knowledge about heart failure and reducing disparity gaps in patient care. Patient experiences shared in social media and community focus groups lent insight into the study design. Additionally, members of the American Heart Association’s Citizen Scientist Think Tank, made up of patients and caregivers, provided key input and several will serve as full researchers throughout the study process.

Led by senior investigators Sean Collins, M.D., of Vanderbilt University and Javed Butler, M.D., of Stony Brook University, researchers will explore how a quality improvement initiative such as the AHA’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure can improve processes of care within the emergency department. Participating research sites include Wayne State University in Detroit, Indiana University in Indianapolis and Stony Brook University in New York.

Each year, doctors discharge nearly 200,000 heart failure patients after treating them in the emergency department, according to the American College of Cardiology Foundation. But many of those patients aren’t sure about next steps — what medications they should be taking, or when and with which doctor to follow-up.

“Patients who seek care in emergency departments across the U.S. experience disproportionately poor outcomes. Moreover, these patients are typically those who are underserved thus worsening their health outcomes and adding to healthcare disparities,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., past president of the AHA and chief of the Division of Cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “This new research project represents a watershed moment in the quest of the American Heart Association to reduce the burden of heart disease and to improve the health of all Americans.

“The American Heart Association has recognized the emergence of a new day in clinical research involving patient centered community based trials geared to answer practical questions with an immediate impact on health,” Yancy said.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit and commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and give people information to help them weigh the effectiveness of their care options,” said PCORI executive director Joe Selby, M.D. “We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with the American Heart Association and Vanderbilt University to share the results.”

The study is one of 46 proposals that PCORI selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, clinicians and other stakeholders joined clinical scientists to evaluate the proposals. Application assessment included scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders and their methodological rigor among other criteria.

The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to the research team.

PCORI is an independent nonprofit authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make informed health and healthcare decisions.

PCORI has approved $854 million to support 399 research studies and initiatives since it began funding research in 2012.