Objectives: This study aims to examine a novel patient-centered metric of time spent engaging in left ventricular assist device (LVAD)–related clinical care outside the home. Background: Although LVAD implantation can improve survival and functional capacity in patients with advanced heart failure, this may occur at the expense of significant time spent engaging in LVAD-related health care activities. Methods: The authors retrospectively assessed consecutive patients at a single center who received a continuous-flow LVAD between May 9, 2008, and December 31, 2019, and queried health care encounters after implantation, including all inpatient encounters and LVAD-related ambulatory encounters. Patient-level time metrics were determined, including the total number of days with any health care encounter, and the total estimated time spent receiving care. The primary outcome was the proportion (%) of days alive with an LVAD spent engaged in at least 1 health care encounter. The secondary outcome was the proportion (%) of total time alive with an LVAD spent receiving care. Results: Among 373 patients, the median number of days alive with LVAD was 390 (IQR: 158-840 days). Patients had a median number of 88 (IQR: 45-161) days with ≥1 health care encounter, accounting for 23.2% (IQR: 16.3%-32.4%) of their days alive with an LVAD. A median 6.0% (IQR: 2.1%-14.1%) and 15.0% (IQR: 10.7%-20.0%) of total days alive were spent in inpatient and ambulatory encounters, respectively. Patients spent a median of 592 (IQR: 197-1,257) hours receiving care, accounting for 5.6% (IQR: 2.2%-12.7%) of their total time alive with an LVAD. Conclusions: LVAD patients spent more than 1 of every 5 days engaging in health care. Our findings may inform strategies to improve efficiency of postdischarge care delivery and expectations for post-treatment care.
- care delivery
- heart failure
- left ventricular assist device
- patient-centric outcome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine