Pre-recorded audio messages help improve outcomes for patients with heart failure

November 17, 2020

DALLAS, Nov. 17, 2020 — Patients who are hospitalized with heart failure can reduce their odds of requiring re-hospitalization, a heart transplant or death by repeatedly reviewing recorded audio messages about self-care at home, according to late breaking research presented today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The virtual meeting is Friday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.

“My Recorded On-Demand Audio Discharge Instructions (MyROAD®)” is a re-playable audio card containing information for patients with heart failure who have been discharged from the hospital. The MyROAD audio card begins with a general statement and then has four sections about diet, physical activity, medication and self-monitoring behaviors specific to heart failure to help answer frequently asked questions about the condition and what to expect at home.

“Patients may be tired, confused and worried about being able to follow provider orders and/or without family members at the time they are discharged, so they may lack the ability to carefully hear, understand and ask questions about instructions for self-care at home. Handing out more paperwork may not be the answer. In addition, some patients have health literacy issues, poor eyesight or they do not have access to the internet to get heart failure information. We needed a new way to provide this potentially life-saving information,” says the study’s lead author Nancy M. Albert, Ph.D., C.C.N.S., C.H.F.N., C.C.R.N., N.E.-B.C., FAHA, associate chief nursing officer of the Office of Nursing Research and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Health System and a clinical nurse specialist at the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Researchers performed a randomized controlled trial of about 1,000 patients (average age 72.8 years, 58.7% male) who were hospitalized with heart failure at four sites in Northeast Ohio. Upon discharge, patients either received usual care or the MyROAD audio card with a demonstration on how to operate it plus usual care. Patients were encouraged to keep the card visible and share it with family members. Researchers followed up at 30, 45, 90 and 180-day intervals after hospital discharge. Both patient groups were similar in demographics, medical history and heart failure factors.

Findings of the study indicate: Researchers note that although the readmission rates among the MyROAD® group were lower at 30 and 45 days when compared with the usual care group, it was not a statistically significant difference. However, when they assessed all-cause hospitalization, emergency department visits or death, the odds of an event were reduced by 25% at 30 days and 30% at 45 days. Researchers believe there is an opportunity to improve outcomes by providing patients and family with clear, consistent messages (as was delivered with the audio card).

“It is important for patients who are discharged to home after a hospital stay to understand that by carrying out specific physical activity, diet, medication and self-monitoring behaviors, they may improve their lifespan and be less likely to require a future emergency department visit,” said Albert. “These results may spur innovative methods of enhancing discharge information and early home care. More research is needed to learn how we can optimize care to prevent post-discharge healthcare utilization.”


Co-authors are Kathy Ray, B.R.M.P.; James F. Bena, M.S.; Shannon L. Morrison, M.S.; Mary Marino, B.S.N., R.N.; and Celia Painter, B.S.N., R.N. Author disclosures are in the abstract. The researchers reported no external funding for this study.

Presentation: Session: LBS.09 High Tech or High Touch: Creative Strategies to Optimize Patient Care

Additional Resources: Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers are available here, and the Association’s overall financial information is available here

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