Virtual care improves heart failure treatment at 3 Mass General Brigham hospitals

Virtual care improved treatment for heart failure patients at Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham, according to a March 6 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The research analyzed 252 clinical encounters with heart failure patients admitted to Brigham and Women's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, both in Boston, and Salem (Mass.) Hospital.

Of those encounters, 107 received the virtual care intervention, which included a centralized physician and on-site pharmacist. Those patients were more likely to initiate guideline-directed medication therapy or get more appropriate dosing.

"To see that a virtual care team could help improve guideline-concordant care across three diverse system hospitals and do so in a manner that was both safe and did not prolong hospitalization was a very encouraging finding," said lead author Ankeet Bhatt, MD, a former cardiovascular medicine fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital who is now a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, in a March 6 news release.

The researchers said they'd like to scale and reproduce the results among different hospital types, patient populations and geographies. They noted that the virtual care intervention was less effective for Spanish-speaking patients.

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