Author + information
- Christopher M. O’Connor, MD, Editor-in-Chief, JACC: Heart Failure∗ ()
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Christopher M. O’Connor, Editor-in-Chief, JACC: Heart Failure, American College of Cardiology, Heart House, 2400 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.
The week of February 10 to 16, 2019, is recognized as Heart Failure Awareness Week. In 2001, under the leadership of former Heart Failure Society of America President Art Feldman, the U.S. Congress passed a motion to recognize the second week of February as Heart Failure Awareness Week. In this time, we take pause to recognize the 5 million Americans living with heart failure in the United States and over 23 million patients living with this condition globally. Although we have taken great pride in our treatment options today, our heart failure patients continue to have high rates of morbidity and mortality and significantly reduced quality of life. Through the actions of our professional societies, Heart Failure Society of America, Heart Failure Association, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, European Society of Cardiology, and others worldwide, as well as groups like the Heart Failure Collaboratory, important strides have been made over the past year. As a community, we have begun to address the importance of patients being part of every aspect of research, education, and communication in our field. As you see in JACC: Heart Failure over the past year and in this issue, the Patient Perspective column highlights their unique perspective. We now have patient representation on important society boards, steering committees, advisory committees, U.S. Food and Drug Administration review panels, and other entities to make sure that our patients’ voices are heard. Through these actions, we have seen increased attention to patient-reported outcomes and their importance as top priorities for clinical trial endpoints and the potential for regulatory approval of new drugs and devices. I ask this week for each one of you to take pause on the great work that we have done, but recognize that we still have much to do.
1. Look at ways to develop implementation processes for providing approved breakthrough drugs and devices that improve the outcomes of patients with heart failure.
• For example, at Inova we have integrated quality metrics into our compensation model, which includes implementation of life-saving therapies such as sacubitril/valsartan and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in qualified patients.
• Work together with health systems to reduce mortality rates.
• Identify high-risk patients for referral to heart failure clinics early in the process.
2. Continue to emphasize the importance of participation in clinical trials.
• Make Heart Failure Awareness Week the very best week for enrollment in clinical heart failure trials across the country and globe.
• Everyone should attempt to present a clinical trial or registry to a patient that is meaningful and ask for their participation.
3. Consider writing a joint clinician-patient report on a life experience that can be shared through this journal that may improve the care of other patients through our Patient Perspective series.
4. Promote advocacy for policy changes.
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to the care of heart failure patients and the advancement of knowledge to make lives better for the patients we serve. Let us continue to accelerate our efforts, double down on our commitment to move the field forward, and share our knowledge and experiences so that the burden of heart failure over the globe can be measurably reduced by next year when we report again on Heart Failure Awareness Week.
- 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation