Heart Failure Patient Education

Teaching heart failure patients the skills needed to stay well — and to stay home from the hospital.

Heart Failure Coach Apple Heart Failure Coach Android Heart Failure Coach Amazon
PROBLEM

Hospitals are penalized for patients who are readmitted with congestive heart failure (CHF) within 30 days of discharge. These readmissions often result from lack of patient engagement, knowledge, and behavior change by the patients after discharge.

GOAL

Deliver a patient education video game for both inpatient and outpatient environments, proven to teach patients recovering from heart failure critical knowledge and behaviors associated with staying home from the hospital and support positive, sustainable behavior change.

PARTNERS

UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and UPMC Health Plan

Heart Failure Coach Patient Engagement
SOLUTION

Heart Failure Coach is a patient engagement game, administered by nurses, where patient players interact with and guide Simon, a character with CHF who was recently released from the hospital, for a virtual week. Patients are able to hear Simon tell them how he’s feeling that day, see how his heart and lungs are doing, and watch for fluid retention in the legs and lungs. They are responsible for completing key behaviors (tracking weight, taking medication, and calling the doctor if there are any problems) each day in the simulation. At the end of the week, patients are given feedback on their treatment of Simon - whether they helped him to complete the essential actions and whether or not he was readmitted to the hospital.

Current Status

The Heart Failure Coach product has been rolled out across multiple UPMC hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physicians offices who see patients at risk for readmission for heart failure. The healthcare game has improved retention of the critical self management skills for patients who have played and a positive impact on the number of readmissions. The product is now publicly available for mobile devices through Google Play and the Apple App Store. Use the links below to start engaging your patients with the help of Simon.