Teaneck-based Holy Name Medical Center is among the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. and the best in New Jersey for having the lowest 30-day mortality rate from heart failure. While the national average is 12.2 percent, Holy Name has an 8.5 percent rate, making it among the leading hospitals in the nation for treating a disease that affects 5.7 million American adults.
Heart failure occurs when a weakened heart muscle can’t pump enough blood into the aorta, which allows blood to pool in the heart. It may be caused by a number of conditions, including past heart attacks, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, congenital heart defects, and alcohol and drug abuse.
“We are particularly proud of our heart failure mortality rates,” said Sheryl Slonim, Executive Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. “This accomplishment is a result of an interdisciplinary team effort, including accurate assessment and diagnosis as well as aggressive management, which is continually monitored and reassessed.”
Patients with heart failure fare better at Holy Name for a number of reasons, including the care given by highly trained cardiologists and a Transitional Care Team, assigned to each patient and led by a nurse practitioner certified in heart failure. Those at risk for readmission due to advancing disease are offered 30-day follow-up post discharge care, which includes a face-to-face visit by a nurse to perform an overall assessment, check medications, ensure physician follow-up visits are scheduled, reinforce education and provide a self-care binder for patients to organize all the aspects of their chronic illness.
“Holy Name works very hard to make sure our heart failure patients are given the highest quality care that extends well past their hospitalization,” said Dr. Adam Jarrett, Medical Director of Holy Name Medical Center. “We consistently utilize new advanced therapies and our palliative care team has been a strong partner in giving our patients better outcomes.”
Early diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart failure can help improve their quality and length of life. Treatment typically involves medications, reducing salt in the diet and physical activity. Patients with heart failure may experience shortness of breath, general feeling of fatigue or weakness, trouble breathing when lying down and weight gain in the feet, legs, ankles or stomach. Symptoms should be tracked on a daily basis and then discussed with the health care team.Related Articles: