Cedars-Sinai opens doors of advanced heart failure unit

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The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles will provide a team-based approach to managing and treating heart failure with its 350-bed in-patient advanced heart failure unit.

In the new unit, physicians will use a multidisciplinary approach—social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists, physicians and nurses—to treat heart failure in combination with enhanced patient educations to prevent hospital readmissions.

According to Cedars-Sinai, the HF unit is the first in the state of California and will provide care to patients with advanced congestive HF or those waiting for a heart transplant.

Additionally, the unit will treat patients with 24-hour hemodynamic monitoring and measure heart function, blood flow and circulation via a Swan-Ganz catheter. The unit will also perform cardio-pulmonary exercise testing and post-discharge telephone follow-up to help curb readmission rates.

“Patients with congestive heart failure have a 50 percent readmission rate within six months, which is a heavy cost both in terms of quality of life and financially,” said Michele Hamilton, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute’s Heart Failure Program. “A major component of the high readmission rate is that patients have difficulty keeping up with the medical regimen and lifestyle changes after discharge.  We aim to help our patients stay out of the hospital by providing the education and follow-up they need to maintain their heart function.”