TAKEheart: AHRQ’s Initiative to Increase Use of Cardiac Rehabilitation
This dissemination and implementation project is designed to help hospitals and health systems implement strategies from patient-centered outcomes research on cardiac rehabilitation for eligible patients. These strategies have been shown to improve referral, enrollment, and retention in rehabilitation, which in turn improves the health of cardiac patients. AHRQ will partner with and train hospitals and health systems to take steps that lead to enhanced use and benefit from cardiac rehabilitation.
For information on the initiative, go to https://takeheart.ahrq.gov
About This Project
This 3-year initiative to disseminate and implement best practices for increasing cardiac rehabilitation among eligible patients is part of AHRQ’s continuing initiative to foster delivery of evidence-based care.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program of education, exercise training, and psychological support, with each facet designed to help cardiac patients return to an active lifestyle. Each year, about 965,000 Americans experience a coronary event. Only about 20 percent of eligible patients, however, participate in cardiac rehabilitation. This low level of participation represents an enormous missed opportunity. Some estimates suggest that increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation to 70 percent would save nearly 25,000 lives and prevent about 180,000 hospitalizations a year.
AHRQ’s initiative will tackle the problem in several ways, including partnering with and training hospitals and health systems to increase cardiac rehabilitation referrals, enrollment, and retention. These efforts will apply strategies in the new Million Hearts®/AACVPR Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Package, an action plan developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. AHRQ’s new initiative will also develop an online platform to raise awareness about the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and provide new and existing resources that promote its use.
The project continues AHRQ’s initiatives to enhance heart health and will also contribute to the national Million Hearts® initiative, which is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and to Cardiac Rehabilitation initiatives within Million Hearts.
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