Sweden Delegates Visit MSM to Learn More about Heart Failure Program




Sweden VisitKarolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden’s cardiologist and cardiac nurses visited Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in January, to learn more about Grady Hospital’s Heart Failure Program developed with leadership from MSM professor, Dr. Anekwe Onwuanyi, to help eliminate heart failure readmission.  The Swedish delegates first met Dr. Onwuanyi, Medical Director of Heart Failure Program and MSM professor after his presentation on “Impact of the Grady Heart Failure Program on Clinical Outcomes,” at the 2012 American Heart Association Scientific Meeting.  It is here that the delegates expressed an interest in learning more about Grady’s program.


The Swedish delegates wanted to learn more about Grady’s program and the USA’s health system; including research and medical education. They were particular interested in the program structure, operations and leadership. Both parties compared and contrasted their programs in the presentations made to the group.  Senior MSM clinical and research faculty participated in the discussions with a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Ofili and Q&A session moderated by Dr. Anekwe Onwuanyi. The meeting was concluded with presentations by Dr. Inger Hagerman, Karolinska University Hospital on language and cultural barriers and Nina Lathi, Karolinska University on its Innovation Center, their pilot program and value based care in Stockholm. 


“A unique group of health professionals came together in what is called Accountable Care Organization and Education System.  Together they gathered data in a database that can be easily analyzed in Access for future Heart Failure evaluation, Diabetes evaluation etc,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ofili, professor of medicine at MSM, director of Clinical Research Center and senior associate dean of Clinical and Translational Research.


In 2010, Grady Hospital discovered a 14.2% thirty day readmission rate for heart failure from November 2009 to October 2010.  Dr. Onwuanyi along with other health professionals visualized a solution to the issue. Weekly the group met with a team of multi-disciplinary physicians, health, social and financial professionals to identify target patients, careSweden Visit barriers, and resources, and to develop operation logistics for the heart failure program.  By 2013, thirty day readmissions decreased from 14.2% to 9.7% and first year heart failure admissions decreased from 418 to 143. 


Heart Failure is a chronic medical illness suffered by a substantial number of patients in Grady Hospital and across the country.  It is a major contributor to the cost of healthcare in Grady Hospital as well as in the United States.