FHV Health Employee is a top finalist for the 2020 Florida Blue Innovation Challenge

According to Florida Blue, more than $25 billion is spent each year on preventable medical complications and hospital readmissions. Longtime FHV Health nurse Shayna Rabess, RN, BSN plans to change that.

The University of Florida nursing student’s graduate project, “Implementation of a Transitional Care Model (TCM) in the Heart Failure Population,” was chosen out of dozens of applicants as a finalist in the 2020 Florida Blue Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge focuses on projects from undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate students that reduce annual hospital readmissions. The first, second, and third place winners will respectively receive $15,000, $5,000, and $2,500 to put toward their initiatives.

“Heart failure is the leading cause of hospital readmissions in older adults,” says Rabess, who will receive her Doctorate in Nursing Practice this spring. “Much of my graduate research has been focused on reducing [those] readmission rates. It happened to match this year’s criteria, so I just took advantage of the opportunity and signed up. And, to my surprise, it got accepted.”

Rabess and her teammate, a student at the University of South Florida, make up one of the 12 teams that will pitch their projects on Sept. 15 and 16. “We’re combining our ideas for this challenge,” says Rabess. “I’m excited to work with someone who shares these interests.”

After the challenge has ended, Rabess will be implementing her Transitional Care Model at FHV Health Cardiology beginning in August 2020. “There’s a TCM team for Primary Care, and it’s successful,” she says. “But my project emphasizes that specialty practices can furnish these types of care models, too.”

Cardiology has been a career-long focus for Rabess. “It was actually one of my first opportunities as a nurse,” she says. “Dr. Lew hired me to work at the Coumadin clinic. I’ve worked here and loved cardiology ever since.”

Rabess has been a nurse at FHV Health for more than a decade, and has been a nursing student for just as long. “FHV Health has really supported me furthering my education,” she says. “They never had any issues with me taking time off for classes or exams. They’ve always been accommodating and always worked around my schedule.”

Rabess is thrilled that FHV Health is the practice where she’ll be incorporating her new model. “To produce innovative solutions, healthcare organizations must function innovatively,” she says. “Having a healthcare organization like FHV Health that values divergent thinking and fosters innovation shows we’re committed to supporting our patients in every way possible.”

Rabess has high hopes for her project. “Successfully implementing the TCM could have the potential to decrease heart failure readmission rates and improve the overall financial well-being of our healthcare system,” she says. “Managing heart failure can be a complex and daunting task, but it’s rewarding to me to maintain a strong relationship with my patients.”

As a career student, Rabess sees her upcoming graduation as a hard-won achievement, both for her and for her family. “My oldest is 14 now, and throughout her whole life she’s seen me as a student,” she says. “It’s really nice that she’ll be able to see me reach the finish line before she graduates high school. I also have a 4 year-old, so hopefully he won’t even remember his mother spending countless hours in the books!”

We at FHV Health take great pride in the excellence demonstrated by Rabess over the years, and are pleased to have been able to play a part in the education of this talented nursing professional. We look forward to the implementation of her new TCM and its long-term benefits for our most critical cardiac patients.