Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust screens all patients who are admitted for atrial fibrillation in light of growing rates of AFib within their population. In the first year alone, they identified 393 new cases of AFib and prevented 16 potentially disabling strokes and eight deaths. By preventing these strokes, the Trust has ensured patients have shorter stays in the hospital and has saved approximately £500,000 ($633,155).
All patients admitted to the hospital have an order for the AFib screening, which adds them to a list monitored by the screening team. When the screening team completes its review of the patients’ ECGs and medical records and documents the screening in a note, the screening is marked as complete and the patients drop off the list. This universal screening helps clinicians diagnose AFib in patients who didn’t know they had the condition and make more informed care decisions, such as starting patients on stroke prevention measures.
“Our objective is stroke prevention by focusing on one of the most important risk factors for disabling strokes, atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Kayvan Khadjooi, founder and clinical lead for the Screening and Optimising Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation team. They also found screening all patients admitted to the hospital was cost-effective.