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2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report

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Advanced heart failure

The Advanced Heart Failure Program provides innovative treatments, reduces symptoms, and enhances the quality of life for patients living with congestive heart failure. With a goal of reducing hospital admissions and extending the lives of heart failure patients, the Advanced Heart Failure program works closely with patients and their existing health care providers to create a successful treatment plan to manage the disease as a team. By focusing on education for self-care, medication management, careful testing and monitoring, and fast access to adjunct therapies when needed, the program provides a holistic and personalized approach to support patients and their families.

The Advanced Heart Failure Program in Denver is led by Dr. Ankie Amos, Dr. Aaron Emmons, and Dr. Santi Yarlagadda.

When to refer to an Advanced Heart Failure Program

Based on Guidance for Timely and Appropriate Referral of Patients With Advanced Heart Failure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association, the following process1 can help identify candidates for advanced heart failure evaluation and treatment. Given the high morbidity and mortality of advanced HF, early recognition and referral can add years to a patient’s life expectancy.

Advanced Hear Failure

CardioMEMS

The Advanced Heart Failure Program utilizes CardioMEMS monitoring to prevent worsening heart failure, lower mortality, and ultimately, improve quality of life for HF patients. The system remotely monitors pulmonary artery pressure, which is an early indicator of worsening heart failure. When compared to traditional measurements such as body weight and blood pressures, CardioMEMS detects changes much earlier when treatment plans can be adjusted in an easier and more effective way.

In fact, with CardioMEMS, the early monitoring and indication can reduce readmissions because physicians can intervene earlier by adjusting medication or making other treatment changes, often before a patient experiences any HF symptoms that would trigger a hospital visit.

Outpatient diuresis clinic

Through clinic-based administration of intravenous (IV) diuretics, the Advanced Heart Failure Program is extremely effective in preventing unnecessary ED visits and hospital readmissions. According to CMS, HF is the leading cause of 30-day readmissions, and surprisingly, many patients who return to the hospital only require IV diuresis.

Through effective outpatient management of diuretics, HF patients can manage their heart failure exacerbations safely in a clinic environment avoiding readmissions and unnecessary stress or discomfort.

Cardio-obstetrics

ECMO

2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report for SCL Health, now Intermountain Healthcare.

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