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Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (Portuguese Red Cross Hospital)

Heart Failure: empowering patients while avoiding acute decompensation

Discover how Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (Portuguese Red Cross Hospital) improved Heart Failure patients’ engagement and outcomes, using UpHill with care automation to speed up red flags’ detection and prevent avoidable emergency episodes.

60 hours

of work saved


patient response rate


patient satisfaction

Current prevalence of Heart Failure is estimated to be 1-2% of adults and recent forecasts estimated it to increase by 33% at 2060. On average, those patients are hospitalized once every year.
Additionally, due to population growth, aging and the increasing prevalence of comorbidities, the absolute number of hospital admissions for Heart Failure is expected to increase by as much as 50% in the next 25 years.
Early detection of heart failure symptoms is important in order to prevent hospital admission and mortality. On the other hand, self-care is pivotal for those patients and is a priority of multidisciplinary HF management programs.

Adequate patient self-care is essential in the effective management of Heart Failure and allow patients to understand what is beneficial, and to agree to self-monitoring and management plans. Heart Failure patients who report more effective self-care have a better Quality of Life (QoL), lower readmission rates and reduced mortality. 1

Project Goals

  • Demonstrate patient adherence to automatic follow-up;
  • Assess the impact of automatic follow-up on healthcare teams’ productivity and clinical outcomes (decrease Heart Failure decompensation).


UpHill Route and Hilly were integrated with the hospital EHR, patients were instantiated on the Heart Failure clinical pathway, making their care journey visible to all professionals involved. In addition, automated follow-ups were triggered in order to keep patients on track, improve patient stratification and identify signs of decompensation precociously.

The hospital of the future is patient centered. It doesn’t keep patients closed within its walls, follows their daily journey, goes beyond the clinical team and the clinical team keeps track on patients’ daily journey.

Catarina Batista

Hospital Manager, Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (Portuguese Red Cross Hospital)

Solution Details:

  1. On behalf of hospital’s clinical team, UpHill contacted patients periodically and automatically;
  2. Patients answered simple questions related to their health;
  3. UpHill software intelligently evaluated if there were signs/symptoms of Heart Failure decompensation;
  4. Once a red flag was reported, UpHill automatically stratified patients and warned health teams.

Solution Highlights:

  • Familiar and convenient communication channels;
  • No invasive medical devices or procedures;
  • Intelligent application of the information collected to update patient status;
  • Effortless patient tracking with an integration between systems;
  • Compliant with relevant industry-standard certifications.

Most frequently, these patients were admitted with severe symptoms. They ended up being admitted at the emergency room in an extreme stage, in which recovery is slower. With UpHill, we can anticipate those situations. Patients come to the hospital earlier, with mild symptoms, we manage to stabilize them, and they can return home. So, patients have fewer hospitalizations and decrease visits to the emergency room.

Tânia Pontes

Nurse Manager, Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (Portuguese Red Cross Hospital)

Impact and Insights:

  • In six months, automated follow-ups generated 69 alerts;
  • 97% of alerts were solve by nursing teams;
  • Automated communications represented 60 hours of work saved;
  • 95% of patients considered UpHill safe and intuitive;
  • 100% of patients felt empowered to self-manage Heart Failure with UpHill;
  • 100% of patients would recommend UpHill to family and/or friends

The tremendous experience of UpHill team throughout the implementation process was truly surprising. Whenever decisions had to be made, we felt that we had a very easy workflow and knew what to expect at every moment.

Carlos Sousa

ICT Director, Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (Portuguese Red Cross Hospital)


  1. 2021 ESC Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Heart Failure.

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