The HFPN Trailblazers Hub research methodology



The Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN) Trailblazers Hub is populated with examples of:

  1. Care Trailblazers: effective and scalable models of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care that have gained organisational and/or political support.
  2. Advocacy Trailblazers: stakeholder groups communicating with decision-makers to win high-level policy recognition and/or investment in the area of heart failure.

Examples are identified on a rolling basis using the inclusion and exclusion criteria alongside the search methodology outlined in this document. Stakeholders may also recommend initiatives for potential inclusion, which will be reviewed and independently approved by the HFPN Secretariat in line with the Hub’s criteria.


Identifying examples

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

The Trailblazers Hub collects examples of inspirational system transformation and political advocacy in heart failure. It aims to raise the profile of innovators in heart failure policy and disseminate the main lessons that they have to offer.

Inclusion criteria

Initiatives must fall under one of the following headings:

1. Care Trailblazers

These initiatives must meet the following criteria:

For example, high-level clinical networks integrating care across settings; models of multidisciplinary and integrated care that are scaled up across a region/country with support from decision-makers.

2. Advocacy Trailblazers

This includes engagement with local, regional, national or European decision-makers that:

For example, a multidisciplinary heart failure task force successfully making the case for the inclusion of heart failure in national healthcare plans; advocates developing training curricula and securing investment for national workforce accreditation programmes.

Policy initiatives created or led by the life sciences industry can be considered for inclusion in the Hub if they meet the following criteria:


Exclusion criteria


Search strategies

Examples are identified from:


Search strategies for new initiatives on PubMed are presented below and will be used to guide periodic literature searches using fortnightly email alerts.

  1. Care Trailblazers

(“Heart Failure”[tiab])


((“Proof of Concept Study”[Majr])


(“Chronic Care Model”[tiab] OR “Disease Management”[MeSH] OR “National Health Programs”[MeSH] OR “Continuity of Patient Care”[MeSH] OR “Clinical Competence”[MeSH] OR “Disease Networks”[tiab] OR “Outpatient Clinics”[tiab])


(“Delivery of Health Care, Integrated”[MeSH])


(“Accreditation”[MeSH] OR “Quality of Healthcare”[MeSH] or “Processes of Care”[tiab] OR “Process Performance Measures”[tiab]))


(Europe[tiab] OR European[tiab] OR “European Union”[tiab])



  1. Advocacy Trailblazers

(“Heart Failure”[tiab])


((“Patient Advocacy”[MeSH])


(“Health Policy”[MeSH])


(“Coordinated Care”[tiab] OR “Disease Management”[MeSH] OR “Delivery of Health Care, Integrated”[MeSH]))


(“Europe”[tiab] OR “European”[tiab] OR “European Union”[tiab])

Google search and alerts

The HFPN Secretariat will regularly check the following websites for relevant updates:

  1. Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology
  2. National heart failure working groups and patient/non-governmental organisations
  3. World Health Organization – Cardiovascular Diseases web page

The following Google alerts will be set:

  1. “heart failure” AND (“effective model” OR “scalable model”) AND (“integrated care” OR “multidisciplinary care”)
  2. “heart failure” AND (“government initiative” OR “government program” OR “government programme” OR “health policy” OR “policy meeting”)
  3. “heart failure” AND (“strategy” OR “white paper” OR “consensus” OR “policy” OR “plan” OR “roadmap” OR “consultation”)
  4. “heart failure” AND (“Ministry of Health” OR “Department of Health” OR “Health Authority”)
  5. “heart failure” AND (“consensus” OR “recommendations” OR “position paper” OR “accreditation” OR “disease network” OR “disease management program” OR “disease management programme”)


Approval and sign-off

The HFPN Secretariat reviews and approves examples for inclusion based on the Hub’s criteria. If in doubt about any example, the Secretariat will consult with the HFPN Steering Committee. The Secretariat also has the right to set up a Project Advisory Group for further guidance. Full editorial control of the Hub and its content rests with the HFPN Secretariat.

Once examples have been approved, they are drafted in full, reviewed by the editorial team and posted on the HFPN website.


Drafting process

An initial draft is developed based on desk research (e.g. existing publications, press releases and website information).

The draft is emailed to an expert involved in the project. They are asked to comment and are invited to take part in a videoconference interview (see interviews with experts section below) .

Examples are formatted as follows:



Interviews with experts

Where possible, the HFPN Secretariat will schedule an interview with an expert associated with the initiative to verify and enhance the draft for the Hub.

Interviews are conducted via videoconference by a member of the HFPN Secretariat. A list of questions is emailed to the expert ahead of the call.

Experts have the opportunity to review the example before it is published on the HPFN website. They are welcome to include contact details with the example to facilitate contact with interested stakeholders.


Return to the Trailblazers Hub

The Heart Failure Policy Network is an independent, multidisciplinary platform made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca and Roche Diagnostics. The content produced by the Network is not biased toward any specific treatment or therapy. All outputs are guided and endorsed by the Network’s members. All members provide their time for free. The Network is hosted by The Health Policy Partnership .