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TAKEheart: Training for Cardiac Rehabilitation Use


  • Few hospitals use cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to improve health outcomes.
  • Abt’s technical assistance trains hospitals to increase rehabilitation use
  • Trained more than 750 providers and assembled CR resources online
The Challenge

Million Hearts® established the goal of increasing cardiac rehabilitation for eligible patients from 20-30 percent in 2018 to 70 percent by 2022. Evidence shows that participation in cardiac rehabilitation reduces hospital readmissions by 25 percent, cuts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality rates by 20 percent, and improves health-related quality of life of cardiac patients. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  funded implementation of the Million Hearts®/ American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) Change Package strategies for increasing CR use.

The Approach

Through AHRQ’s TAKEheart initiative, hospitals and health systems receive training on proven methods to increase cardiac rehabilitation referrals, enrollment, and retention for eligible patients. Training includes:

  • Individualized coaching and technical support in developing action plans to implement automatic patient referrals and care coordination
  • Access to virtual training providing guidance on implementing an evidence-based strategy
  • Insights from leading cardiac rehabilitation experts 
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, coaching, and tools

This program applies strategies from the new Million Hearts®/AACVPR Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Package.

The Results

Despite curtailment of activities due to COVID-19, Abt to date has recruited two cohorts from partner hospitals dedicated to adopting strategies to increase CR through automatic referral and care coordination.  We built a following of more than 750 individuals interested in CR and whom we keep updated through affinity group webinars and other materials. We also created a resource center of CR related materials on the TAKEheart website.