California pilot project aims to cut cardiac readmissions with preemptive house calls

A pilot program involving the Glendale (Calif.) Fire Department, the University of California Los Angeles' Center for Prehospital Care and Glendale (Calif.) Adventist Medical Center is working to reduce readmissions for recently-discharged cardiac patients by paying them visits at home.

Patients with congestive heart failure are especially burdensome on readmission metrics, Steve Rottman, MD, director of UCLA's Center for Prehospital Care told Southern California Public Radio. About 25 percent of those patients are readmitted within 30 days, he said.

Paramedics who visit the homes of recently discharged patients as part of the program review their diet and fluid intake take measurements, such as blood sugar level, temperature and pulse, and run electrocardiograms. Once a patient gives consent to be included in the program, a paramedic will be dispatched to their home within 72 hours of discharge.

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