What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a chronic disease in which the heart's pumping ability is impaired so much that it no longer meets the body's needs. This causes fluid to build up in the lungs and throughout the body. Symptoms include shortness of breath, abdominal distention or bloating, swelling in the legs, and fatigue.
The disease currently affects 5 million Americans, with more than 500,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Typically heart failure is the end stage of a number of heart conditions and diseases.
How can the Heart Failure Clinic help me?
Heart failure and its related therapies are very complex. Managing your care works best when you're a part of the treatment team and are actively engaged and educated about your condition. Our team offers the full range of care you need for education, treatment and monitoring of heart failure. This team includes your primary care doctor, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and other specialists.
In addition, our team has adopted common guidelines that have been shown to create better outcomes for heart failure patients. Our goal is to promote consistent, effective management of your heart condition, prevent unnecessary emergency room visits or hospitalizations, and to promote better self-management through education and lifestyle changes.
What's included in the program?
- Assessment and diagnosis by experts in cardiology and heart failure.
- Treatment of your condition according to our current national guidelines.
- Ongoing active disease management and evaluation of symptoms, medications and lifestyle modifications.
- Extensive education to help better manage your health and prevent hospitalization.
- Referral to electrophysiology services for such services as pacemakers, defibrillators and resynchronization therapy.
- Referral to the heart failure team when needed to receive assistance with nutrition, pharmacy, home health, spiritual care and hospice.
- Evaluation for advanced options such as cardiac transplantation.
- Ongoing communication with your primary care doctor to ensure that heart failure management blends with management of any other health concerns you may have.
How do I sign up?
Admission begins with a referral from your primary care doctor or your cardiologist. Once enrolled, you'll have regularly scheduled visits in the clinic to allow the team to assess and treat symptoms at earlier stages. Education will help you to take charge of your life, prevent recurrent hospitalizations and to reduce time in the hospital if it becomes necessary.
If you're not sure this program is for you, feel free to discuss with your primary care doctor, your cardiologist, or just give us a call at 608-392-6474.