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Cardiology

Heart Failure Unit Delivers Individualized Care

HealthPark Medical Center Earns Heart Failure Accreditation

Life Preserver for the Heart Heart failure, or HF, occurs when the heart is not efficiently pumping blood. HF can affect people of all ages, but most often occurs after the age of 65. HF can cause many complications—including kidney damage or failure, heart valve problems, liver damage, heart attack and stroke—and is the cause of many hospital visits and readmissions.

"HF has the highest readmission rate of any discharge diagnosis," says Cindy Brown, RN, vice president of patient care services at HealthPark Medical Center. "HF patients really need complex health management—usually because of age, other health conditions and multiple medications."

To help HF patients at HealthPark Medical Center, Cindy and her team created a dedicated HF unit that follows evidence-based guidelines, includes team members from a variety of disciplines, and focuses on each individual patient's education, counseling, follow-up, physical activity programs, and access to supportive management and referral services.

"Debbie Hupe-Cyr [RN] has been a great leader," Cindy explains. "She has been instrumental in our improvements for cardiac care. She was the first certified chest pain center coordinator in the United States; she helped us become an accredited Chest Pain Center, and now we received heart failure accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (formerly known as the Society of Chest Pain Centers)."

Debbie is proud of the improvements and advancements made at HealthPark Medical Center. "We know people don't want to be in the hospital," she says. "In everything we do, we are focused on the patients and improving their quality of life. The HF unit gives us the opportunity to care for chronic and newly-diagnosed patients and help them understand their condition and what it takes to remain healthy, independent and out of the hospital."

In addition to the care the HF unit provides in the hospital, the HF coordinator assists in setting follow-up appointments prior to discharge. "Follow-up care is very important because HF has such a high rate of readmission," Debbie explains. "The HF coordinator sets the appointments, and will even call the patients to make sure that they went to the appointment and understand everything."

Cindy says the goal of the HF unit and pursuing the HF accreditation is to ensure patient-centered care, satisfaction and safety. "We are so proud of the efforts we have made to improve the lives of our heart failure patients," Cindy says. "We believe that meeting the stringent guidelines, reevaluations and refinements of our cardiac care processes in order to receive the HF accreditation shows our patients and our community that we are committed to the highest quality, leading edge care, as well as constant improvement."

At HealthPark Medical Center, heart failure patients and their families are cared for by a team of medical professionals, including:

  • Physician and/or ARNP
  • Nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Case Manager
  • Nursing Director
  • Physical Therapist and/or Occupational Therapist
  • Care Transitions team member
  • Social Worker
  • Dietitian
  • Discharge Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist

“We know people don't want to be in the hospital,”says RN, Debbie Hupe-Cyr. “"In everything we do, we are focused on the patients and improving their quality of life.”

The Failing Heart: Breaking Down Congestive Heart Failure

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