Saint Michael's Medical Center has been recognized by the
Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) for enrolling the highest number of participants in the Northeast
in an ongoing clinical trial seeking to improve the outcomes of patients
with congestive heart failure.
Saint Michael's is one of 160 hospitals nationwide participating in the
CONNECT-HF clinical trial, which is focused on 7,040 patients after they leave the hospital for
treatment of heart failure.
"Saint Michael's participating in the Duke clinical trial will
help reduce readmission of patients with congestive heart failure, which
prevents Medicare penalties," said Dr. Abbas Shehadeh, the director
of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab and cardiovascular
research at Saint Michael’s, who leading the clinical trial for
hospital. "It is a win-win. It improves patient's outcome so
they can live healthier lives and saves the hospital money."
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services reduces payments to hospitals with excessive readmissions.
“This is a brilliant achievement by Dr. Shehadeh’s cardiology
research team in this nationwide clinical trial and moreover, a positive
recognition of Saint Michael’s continued efforts to improve delivery
of quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Hamid Shaaban, Saint
Michael’s chief medical officer.
“There is a substantial morbidity, mortality and health care expenditures
associated with heart failure,” Shaaban said. “Enrolling our
patients in trials like CONNECT-HF will improve care coordination, management
of comorbidities, and enhance patient self-management which may ultimately
help to reduce readmissions and prevent hospitalizations.”
A member of the Prime Healthcare network, Saint Michael’s has been
a leading hospital for heart care for many years. It was the first hospital
in New Jersey to perform open-heart surgery and cardiac angioplasty and
it was ranked as high performing for treating heart failure by U.S. News
and World Report its 2018 Best Hospitals Rankings
Heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital stays in
the United States, and nearly 1 in 5 patients who are in the hospital
because of heart failure, end up in the hospital again within 30 days.
“We aim to improve cardiac care, hence preventing re-hospitalization,”
said Raymond Monel, coordinator of research at Saint Michael’s.
“We look forward to enrolling every eligible patient who presents
to our facility, as we make every effort to consult with family members
and professional caregivers to provide the best and continuous support
Researchers from DCRI want to help figure out how to provide the best care
possible to people with heart failure, to improve their health and to
lower their number of hospital stays.
“We have lots of new treatment options for patients with heart failure,”
said the Dr. Adam DeVore, principal investigator for CONNECT-HF at DCRI.
“We have new medicines, devices and strategies to help combat heart
failure. But, at least in the past, with heart failure and other conditions,
it can take a very long time to incorporate new evidence into routine
care. Hopefully, we can do better with CONNECT-HF.”
Once discharged from the hospital for treatment of heart failure, patients
will receive calls from researchers after six weeks, three months, six
months and 1 year. The researchers ask questions about a patient's
health, current medicine use, and whether they have been readmitted to
DCRI researchers say the information from the clinical trial will help
hospitals figure out how to better support patients with heart failure
in the future.
“Our aim is to try and learn what different incentives we can use
to try and help promote healthy behavior change,” DeVore said.