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The Heart Failure Bridge Clinic helps patients manage their heart failure by providing a smooth transition home from the hospital and offering support during heart failure exacerbations. Patients who are seen in the Heart Failure Bridge Clinic are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital in the future.
Easing the transition home
Most patients discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of heart failure will have a follow-up appointment scheduled before they leave the hospital. Patients who do not have a scheduled follow-up appointment are more likely to be back in the hospital within a few short weeks of their original discharge.
This post-discharge appointment is approximately one hour long and gives patients an additional opportunity to do the following:
- Develop a better relationship with the heart failure team.
- Review their medical history with the heart failure staff.
- Learn tools for self-care, including exercise and nutrition guidelines, and diet and fluid management techniques.
- Identify signs and symptoms of heart failure.
- Learn when to come to the clinic for care and when to report directly to the emergency department.
Long term follow-up care
Previously, patients experiencing heart failure symptoms had two choices: Wait a week or more to see their general provider or go directly to the emergency room, where they would likely be re-admitted. With the Heart Failure Bridge Clinic, patients experiencing heart failure symptoms can be seen within 24 to 72 hours and may be given intravenous medications to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
Most insurance plans cover care at the Heart Failure Bridge Clinic as they would cover a visit to a specialist.