Helping WakeMed Regain ACC Heart Failure Accreditation


Unable to schedule timely follow-up visits for discharged heart failure patients

In 2016, WakeMed was at risk of losing their American College of Cardiology (ACC) Heart Failure Accreditation (after not meeting their goal of having 75% of patients diagnosed with heart failure scheduled for a follow up visit within 7 days of a hospital discharge). The hospital initially tried to increase the number of follow-up visits by training their Advance Practice Providers (APPs) to use Epic’s Cadence module to schedule those appointments.

While they saw a significant increase in appointments scheduled, up from 35% to 69%, they fell short of their 75% goal. The biggest gap was with patients admitted to non-cardiology services and for patients discharged after hours and on weekends. Those patients were leaving the hospital before a follow-up appointment could be scheduled and/or added to their discharge papers.

Integrating EPIC with PH Connect to achieve real-time notificiation of discharged heart failure patients

The WakeMed Cardiology and Hospitalist group was motivated to help regain their ACC Heart Failure Accreditation. This group of providers had already been using PH Connect for their primary hospital communication and recently heard of the platform’s integration with Epic. They consulted Proficient Health and worked together to create a solution.

Thanks to that collaboration, an automatic message is now sent through PH Connect when heart failure discharge orders are created in Epic. That message is routed, in real-time, to someone who can schedule the follow-up appointment before the patient is discharged. The average PH Connect read time for these discharge order messages is now 13 minutes. The heart failure follow-up appointment is quickly scheduled and that information is included on the patient’s discharge summary.

Follow-up appointment goal exceeded with 86% follow-up rate in two months

This new PH Connect order discharge workflow went live in November of 2017. For the first time ever, WakeMed exceeded their goal with an 85.9% appointment follow-up rate by the end of November. By the end of 2017, WakeMed had scheduled 47 follow-up appointments. As a result, they regained their accreditation and received a Silver Plus AHA award.

“We are thrilled that we can now be notified immediately through PH Connect when a provider enters a consult in EPIC. The great part is that the sender does not have to decide whom to notify. PH Connect does that for us,” explained the WakeMed Adult Medicine APP Director.