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Tomah Health Cardiac Rehab Completes National Heart Care Initiative

Tomah Health cardiac rehabilitation has completed a national initiative that focused on enhancing patient care.

Cardiac rehabilitation coordinator & Registered Clinical exercise physiologist Shana Steele, MS, RCEP, CCRP, CSCS, EIM3, said her department staff recently participated in TAKEheart, a national initiative funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to increase use of cardiac rehabilitation referrals, enrollment and retention. “Our participation in TAKEheart brought best practices and strategies to Tomah Health to enhance the care we provide to our patients,” said Steele.

She said the quality improvement program focused on two proven practices: automatic referral of patients and care coordination for referred patients. “We were able to achieve the programs goal by implementing an inpatient automatic referral process and created the care coordination steps that were necessary so more patients will engage in cardiac rehabilitation and live a healthier and happier life,” Steele added.

Approximately 1 million Americans have a coronary event or surgery each year, but currently, only 1-in-5 are referred to cardiac rehabilitation. Among Medicare-eligible heart attack patients, only 6.5% complete the recommended cardiac rehabilitation sessions.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive program to improve cardiovascular health after a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty/stent, or heart surgery has taken place,” Steele explained. “Our program includes exercise training, lifestyle and nutritional counseling, efforts to manage stress, while educating patients and their families on risk factor management to assist in making healthy lifestyle changes.”

She said people who attend cardiac rehabilitation have lower mortality rates, fewer hospital admissions and readmissions, and their overall health and well-being improves.

Abt Associates, in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Hospital Association (AHA), Crosby Communications and Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed the national TAKEheart initiative to help hospitals improve their patient referral rates for cardiac rehabilitation services.

To Learn More About our Cardiac Rehab program, CLICK HERE



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