February 20, 2017

Heart Failure Accreditation

Jim Nathan

Jim Nathan

H eart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart failure, specifically, affects more than five million adults in the U.S. The result of diseases that damage the heart, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood or oxygen to support the body’s needs. Heart failure requires proper, often frequent, care, and is the cause of many hospital visits and readmissions.

In order to ensure the most appropriate, timely and efficient care of heart failure patients in Southwest Florida, all Lee Health hospitals pursued and received full heart failure accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) and The American College of Cardiology. 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.

Our hospitals met specific criteria to achieve this milestone by assuring we provide standardized, evidence-based, clinical best practices such as:

  • The employment of a heart failure coordinator at each hospital. This person brings a multidisciplinary team to the bedside to educate patients on heart failure and create a plan of care post-hospitalization.
  • The installation of an outpatient rapid diuresis clinic at each hospital to treat patients with abnormal fluid retention. What previously required a three-day inpatient stay is now completed in a few hours in an outpatient setting.
  • A toll-free number is provided for patients to call with non-emergent questions. This allows the heart failure coordinator to educate the patient, coach behaviors and direct care.
  • A transition clinic has been created at HealthPark Medical Center as a pilot program that serves heart failure patients who cannot get a follow-up appointment with his or her cardiologist or primary care physician within three to five days after hospitalization.

“Lee Health has shown a genuine dedication to improving the care of heart failure patients,” says Maghee Disch, MSN, SCPC heart failure service line specialist. “Achieving heart failure accreditation means Lee Health has truly examined, improved and standardized their process as a system. The alignment of leadership, services and goals is unmatched. Their hard work and commitment have already been seen through improved patient care outcomes and there is no doubt that their success will only continue to grow in the future.”

We are very proud of the teamwork and collaboration that enabled the standardization and implementation of these best practices throughout all Lee Health hospitals. The accreditation confirms our dedication to quality care, innovation and continuous improvement.

Lee Health is blessed with a team of caring people, inspiring health, who work diligently together to serve others every day and night.


Jim Nathan signature

Jim Nathan

President, Lee Health

Thank you for your support. Together we are Caring People. Inspiring Health.