2016-12-21 / Top News

Lee Health hospitals receive accreditation in heart failure care

Lee Health hospitals have earned full heart failure accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and The American College of Cardiology. The hospitals — Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital — are the only hospitals in the southwest region of Florida to earn this accreditation.

More than 5 million adults in the United States have heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body’s needs. Heart failure is the result of diseases that damage the heart, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Heart failure patients require proper and frequent care.

“Each hospital implemented evidence-based science, quality initiatives, clinical best practices and the latest American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines into their cardiovascular care processes,” said Lee Health Chief Operating Officer Larry Antonucci, M.D.

Three main measures of standardized heart failure care across Lee Health helped garner the accreditation. First, a heart failure coordinator is appointed at each hospital who brings a multidisciplinary team to the patient’s bedside to educate and create a plan of care following discharge.

Additionally, the installation of an outpatient rapid diuresis clinic at each hospital to treat patients with abnormal fluid retention replaces what previously required a three-day inpatient stay in a few hours in an outpatient setting.

And a toll-free number is provided for patients to call with non-emergency questions. This allows the heart failure coordinator to educate the patient, coach behaviors and direct care.

In addition, a transition clinic has been created at HealthPark Medical Center as a pilot program that will expand to Lee Physician Group and Lee Community Healthcare offices.

To earn this accreditation, facilities must demonstrate expertise in the following:

¦ Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system.

¦ Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly.

¦ Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms.

¦ Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures.

¦ Ensuring the competence and training of accredited heart failure personnel.

¦ Maintaining organizational structure and commitment.

¦ Having a functional design, which includes a multidisciplinary team across the continuum of care that promotes optimal patient care

¦ Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of heart failure. ¦

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