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HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation
HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation Center Offers Congestive Heart Failure Program
“It is important that the patients know what they have— is their CHF systolic, diastolic or valvular.”
The cause of frequent hospital admissions and readmissions, congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition that requires appropriate treatment and lifelong management. Proper education and care can keep CHF patients out of the hospital. HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation Center, as part of the continuum of care throughout Lee Memorial Health System, now offers a dedicated CHF program.
Led by coordinator Cindy Brandon, RN, the program helps patients and family members gain a better understanding of CHF by teaching them how to take control of the management of their disease. “CHF is complex, so we start the program with education for patients and family members,” Cindy says. “It is important that patients know what they have. Patients need to know if their CHF is systolic— meaning that there is a pumping problem with the heart; diastolic—which means that the heart can’t relax or fill with blood properly; or valvular—meaning that the valves of the heart are damaged due to a heart defect, coronary artery disease or heart infection. I explain the disease; go over the patients’ medications, diet, exercise and other valuable information. We partner with the patient and family, so they have the knowledge, ability and confidence to manage their disease once they return home.”
From the first day and throughout the patient’s stay at the Center, Cindy monitors the patient—checking his or her weight, listening to the heart and lungs, and looking for edema. If any changes occur, Cindy works with the patient’s physician to figure out treatment and the best plan of care.
The average length of stay for CHF patients varies. “We want our patients to get to the point they are compensated, which means they are able to manage their medication and diet,” Cindy says. “Once the patients are discharged, they have options for continued care.”
One option is Lee Memorial Health System’s Care Transitions Program, which involves an in-home visit from a transition coach who looks for safety issues, reviews medications, nutrition needs and monitors medications. The transition coach also encourages the patient to set personal health goals by developing an action plan with the patient and his or her caregiver.
Another option is to enroll in the Lee Memorial Home Health Telehealth program, which monitors vital signs daily from each patient’s home and transmits the information to a central monitoring station where it is reviewed by registered nurses. The telehealth nurses assess the results and communicate the status and any changes to the patient’s doctor.
If the patient chooses not to enroll in the Care Transitions or Telehealth program, then Cindy continues to follow-up with each person to ensure he or she is properly managing their condition.
“This is a unique service in Southwest Florida,” explains Troy Churchill, HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation Center administrator. “Most skilled nursing facilities do not have this level of care because they don’t have a dedicated coordinator, like Cindy. HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation Center, under the guidance of our medical director, Dr. Washington Baquero—who is a Lee Physician Group physician—has developed a successful program that allows us to partner with other programs and physicians to ensure our patients get the best care. We are part of the continuum of care that helps keep CHF patients healthier and in control of their health.”
Extending Care to Families
HealthPark Care & Rehabilitation Center
16131 Roserush Court
Fort Myers, FL 33908