Cardiac Innovation at The Allure Group
When a business or process is not fully succeeding, it can be tempting to try to start over entirely from scratch. But sometimes it’s the small, subtle changes to existing processes and procedures that can have the greatest impact. At The Allure Group, founded by Joel Landau, this approach has improved patient care, revenue, and industry practices.
For patients with congestive heart failure, the standard care process needed to change and The Allure Group saw an opportunity to help. Statistics showed that when patients entered any nursing facility after a cardiac episode, the likelihood of being readmitted to acute care was 25 percent. The Allure Group recognized that ¼ of patients being readmitted meant that after patients leave, the lack of information can result in poor care or slow reaction times from medical professionals who lack information. To change this, The Allure Group, which has multiple residences throughout New York City, created and tested a protocol called “Hearts in Motion” with a group of 152 patients.
When a patient enters care after a cardiac episode, they come bearing their own personal medical history and are seen by a group of skilled doctors in the hospital. However when they enter a rehabilitation center, the communication lines can become blurred. Personal information that was conveyed to the hospital might not be repeated to the rehabilitation center, and care records from the hospital might include all the information needed for rehabilitation but not the finer details. Finally, when a patient is released, they are given instructions and expected to follow them, but they may not be fully able to and the communication may again be lost. The result can be lowered care quality or readmission
The “Hearts in Motion” protocol for congestive heart failure patients has several steps. “The first step is assigning a team of a cardiologist, nurse, and rehab social worker to patients who are admitted to the facility,” explains Joel Landau. “The next step is establishing live monitoring so real-time data is delivered directly to cardiologists and other specialists, no matter where the patient is located.” The company ensures that teams are trained in which data to monitor and the levels which were considered normal or threatening to the patient. These include changes in weight, renal function and other indicators of potential health risks. If one of these factors changes significantly, the cardiologist receives an immediate automated alert. To monitor slower long-term changes, the teams meet weekly to discuss the patient’s overall health.
The remote cardiac monitoring protocol resulted in a decrease in hospital admissions from 31 percent to just seven percent in the test group. While the benefit to patients is clear, the care professionals also benefit from increased knowledge of their patients and a better ability to maximize their own time. For The Allure Group, says Joel Landau, resources can be directed where they are needed to ensure patients have top quality care and unexpected costs are minimized.
These protocols for remote cardiac monitoring developed by The Allure Group are a prime example of a change that can become the standard. Remote cardiac monitoring has since become the standard for nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities around Brooklyn. “By looking at the situation with the intention of improving care while also setting new industry guidelines, The Allure Group was able to create faster, more efficient changes which can be adopted by other groups and easily understood by doctors and other care professionals,” says Joel Landau.
Getting the protocol right meant thinking big. Patients move from facility to facility, so for a protocol to be effective it has to take into account the complete care network. The Allure Group develops its practices and technologies with the intention of influencing widespread industry changes and by considering the complete patient care practice. As the processes and protocols at The Allure Group set the standard, other care facilities can also improve, meaning patients benefit no matter where they are.
The “Hearts in Motion” protocol was developed and tested by Joel Landau’s top executive staff, including Chief Medical Officer Rekha Bhandari, MD; Jeffrey Bander, MD; and Chief Operating Officer Melissa Powell and implemented by teams of professionals across five of The Allure Group’s nursing centers. Their findings were presented at the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in 2015.
More About Joel Landau:
Joel Landau is the founder of The Allure Group as well as Pinta Capital Partners, a NYC-based equity firm that works with investors and healthcare establishments. Landau regularly blogs about the latest news and innovations in healthcare (at The Allure Group and beyond). He has also written articles for CNBC.com and SCORE NYC. Follow Joel on Twitter: @Joelandau80