Standardizing Heart Failure Care Across Lee Health
More than five million adults in the united States have heart failure, which occurs when 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. To ensure the appropriate, timely and efficient care of heart failure patients in Southwest Florida, all Lee Health hospitals—including Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital—pursued and received full heart failure accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) and American College of Cardiology. Lee Health has the only hospitals in the Southwest Florida to earn this accreditation.
“Having all of our hospitals earn the SCPC heart failure accreditation confirms Lee Health’s dedication to quality care, innovation and continuous improvement,” says Larry Antonucci, M.D., Lee Health chief operating officer. “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.”
Standardized heart failure care across Lee Health includes:
- 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-discharge.
- 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 now is 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. Additionally, 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. The transition clinic serves heart failure patients who cannot get a follow-up appointment with their cardiologist or primary care physician within three to five days after being discharged from the hospital.
“Lee Health has shown a genuine dedication to improving the care of their heart failure patients,” says Maghee Disch, MSn, SCPC heart failure service line specialist with the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
“By achieving Heart Failure Accreditation they have 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
"Lee Health has the only hospitals in Southwest Florida to earn this accreditation.”
- Larry Antonucci, M.D., Lee Health Chief Operating Officer.
Tags: heart failure, cardiology, accreditation, Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), American College of Cardiology