Case study from Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Guidance and accreditation of heart failure units led in internal medicine departments

17 November, 2020

In 2011, the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) launched a national programme to encourage internal medicine departments to set up comprehensive outpatient units for heart failure (Unidades de Manejo Integral de Pacientes con Insuficiencia Cardiaca, UMIPIC).1 The society published guidance on the management of heart failure and outlined criteria for the organisation of care in the units, including the involvement of patients and their families, therapeutic education provided by nurses, and clinical assessments by internists.2 3

As of 2020, 34 centres have created an heart failure unit under the UMIPIC programme.4 One year after the introduction of the programme, centres reported fewer hospitalisations and emergency department visits for people living with heart failure, both for all causes (75% and 54% reduction) and for heart failure specifically (85% and 72% reduction).5 The SEMI has developed an accreditation scheme similar to the SEC-EXCELENTE programme6 and it is currently being implemented.4


  1. Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna. Programa UMIPIC. Available from: [Accessed 04/06/20]
  2. Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna. Informe basico: unidades de medicina interna para insuficiencia cardiaca Proyecto UMIPIC. Available from: [Accessed 17/09/20]
  3. Manzano Espinosa L. 2018. Manual práctico de manejo integral del paciente con insuficiencia cardíaca crónica. Madrid: IM&C
  4. González Franco Á. 2020. Personal communication by email: 05/09/20
  5. Cerqueiro JM, González-Franco A, Montero-Pérez-Barquero M, et al. 2016. Reducción de ingresos y visitas a Urgencias en pacientes frágiles con insuficiencia cardíaca: resultados del programa asistencial UMIPIC. Revista clinica espanola 216(1): 8-14
  6. Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna. 2019. SEMI-Excelente: Manual de acreditación para las Unidades de Medicina Interna de Insuficiencia Cardiaca (UMIPIC). Madrid: SEMI
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