Cape Cod Healthcare has taken an important step to help those diagnosed with heart failure stay active and avoid hospitalization with the opening of the new Cape Cod Healthcare Heart Failure Clinic.
Heart failure is a serious diagnosis that affects 5.7 million in the U.S. Heart failure means the heart muscle is not functioning efficiently, which is a debilitating and chronic condition.
The community-based Heart Failure Clinic at the Cardiovascular Center in Hyannis, under the direction of cardiologist Elissa Thompson, MD, is a resource designed to educate and help patients maintain the best possible quality of life and manage their symptoms.
The Heart Failure Clinic provides access to a multidisciplinary team that includes a cardiologist, nurse practitioner, nutritionist, visiting nurse and pharmacist to treat and educate patients. Once referred to the clinic by their primary care physician, cardiologist or other specialist, patients are offered same-day or next-day appointments, as well as scheduled visits, to manage the symptoms of heart failure.
With no simple diagnostic test for the condition, the Heart Failure Clinic is dedicated to educating patients to recognize the symptoms, which include shortness of breath, swelling of the extremities, rapid weight gain and other signs that the heart is not functioning adequately. The clinic has developed a treatment program to manage the early signs of illness when they appear, warding off the hospital admission that may occur as symptoms worsen.
“Our overriding goal is to help keep heart failure patients out of the hospital,” said Dr. Thompson. “We want to provide a home base for patients to learn how to live with their illness and have one-stop access to our multidisciplinary team.”
Working with patients and their families, the goal of this team is to modify risk factors for heart failure symptoms and change the course of a patient’s diseases as much as possible.
The Cape Cod Healthcare Heart Failure Clinic is located at the Cardiovascular Center, 25 Main Street, Hyannis. For more information, call 508-778-1829 or visit www.capecodhealth.org/heartfailure.