Faculty Articles

Impact of a Pharmacist-Managed Heart Failure Postdischarge (Bridge) Clinic for Veterans

Genevieve M. Hale, Nova Southeastern University
Sonia L Hassan
Scott L Hummel
Carrie Lewis
David Ratz
Michael Brenner


BACKGROUND: Hospitals that provide early postdischarge follow-up after heart failure (HF) hospitalization tend to have lower rates of readmission. However, HF postdischarge (bridge) clinics have not been extensively evaluated.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a pharmacist-managed HF bridge clinic in a veteran population.

METHODS: HF patients hospitalized from November 2010 to August 2013 were identified. Retrospective chart review was conducted of 122 HF patients seen at bridge clinic compared with 122 randomly selected HF patients not seen at this clinic (usual care). Primary end point was 90-day all-cause readmission and death. Secondary outcomes were 30-day all-cause readmission and death, time to first postdischarge follow-up, first all-cause readmission.

RESULTS: Bridge clinic patients were at higher baseline risk of readmission and death; other characteristics were similar. 90-day death and all-cause readmission trended lower in bridge clinic patients (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.40-1.02; P = 0.06). Time to first follow-up was shorter in bridge clinic patients (11 ± 6 vs 20 ± 23 days; P < 0.001); time to first all-cause readmission trended longer (40 ± 20 vs 33 ± 25days; P = 0.11). 30-day death and all-cause readmission was significantly lower in bridge clinic patients (adjusted HR = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.22-0.88; P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: In veteran patients hospitalized for HF, pharmacist-managed HF bridge clinic significantly reduced the time to initial follow-up compared with usual care. Improved short-term outcomes and trend toward improvement of longer-term outcomes in bridge clinic patients was shown.