WakeMed News Releases

November 16, 2010
RALEIGH, N.C. (November 16, 2010) – WakeMed Health & Hospitals is pleased to announce Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital are the first hospitals in North Carolina to receive full Heart Failure Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC).

To achieve SCPC Heart Failure Accreditation, WakeMed met or exceeded ten criteria, including quality measures that improve the process of care for heart failure patients, integration with emergency medical services, personnel competencies and training throughout the system, and much more.

“Being first in the state to earn Heart Failure accreditation demonstrates WakeMed’s continued commitment to ensuring cardiac patients receive gold-standard care based on demonstrated best practices,” commented Betsy Gaskins-McClaine, vice president Heart & Vascular Services. “Providing this quality care requires a commitment across the health care continuum, starting from emergency medical services through the emergency department, Heart Center and continued care from a multi-disciplinary team during the patient’s hospital stay to follow-up care with cardiologists, primary care practitioners, home health, and outpatient therapy programs.

“For heart failure patients, this commitment from health providers is even more critical due to the need to continuously monitor and adjust medications, diet, and activity levels to prevent hospital re-admission and improve a patient’s quality of life. National statistics show that one in five heart failure patients who is discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days.”

In Wake County, heart failure patients’ health and quality of life are positively impacted by a strong commitment from Wake County EMS and WakeMed. Examples of these commitments include:
• Wake County EMS has an advanced paramedic program that targets heart failure patients as well as other complicated disease processes. This program ensures heart failure patients receive appropriate treatment at first contact.
• WakeMed Emergency Department staff and physicians are specially trained and work in collaboration with cardiologists and primary care providers to ensure heart failure patients are identified, treated appropriately, educated, and have a means for follow up after discharge.
• Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital inpatient units have increased the number of resource nurses and referrals to the outpatient heart failure program. Inpatient programs are also consistently reevaluating and improving the patient education and discharge process to help ensure patients understand how to manage their disease.
• Established in 1999, the WakeMed Heart Failure outpatient program works to reduce hospital re-admissions for heart failure patients within one year of discharge by concentrating on contacting patients, educating them on disease management and collaborating with patients’ cardiologists and primary care physicians. Since the program’s inception, the Heart Failure program has enrolled 2,359 patients and is currently actively following 830 patients. The program has reduced hospital re-admissions to eight percent of the national average for program participants.
• WakeMed Home Health collaborates with the Heart Failure outpatient program to track the most medically fragile heart failure patients using telehealth and home visits. If a weight, blood pressure or other early heart failure complication is identified, patients are referred to cardiologists and primary care physicians, enabling better and more consistent treatment and earlier interventions, reducing the need for an emergency department visit or inpatient hospital stay.

"Our Heart Failure program is unique in that it focuses on the relationship between the patient, program and the doctors because effective heart failure treatment is more than providing physical relief," says Marian Uy, RN and coordinator of the CHF program. "It is helping the patients feel better by managing this chronic disease by monitoring the patients' condition, empowering them through education and being available for emotional support. This heart failure accreditation reinforces that patients in Wake County who come to WakeMed are receiving quality care from first contact to well after discharge."

Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute estimates that five million patients in the United States have heart failure and 300,000 people each year die from the disease.

Heart failure patients are responsible for 12 to 15 million physician office visits per year and 6.5 million hospital days. Of Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure, 29 percent are re-admitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge at a cost of $37.2 billion per year. Because of the added cost of hospital re-admission for heart failure patients, this is an area of targeted cost savings under health care reform.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
Established in 1998, SCPC is a patient-centric nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease. Central to SCPC’s mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In response, SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine, to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome and heart failure and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, SCPC provides accreditation and education to facilities striving for optimum cardiac care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on SCPC and accreditation opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 870-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopaedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. WakeMed’s team of 7,750 employees, 1,000 volunteers and more than 1,000 affiliated physicians serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies to ensure the finest in health care.

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