Innovative “One Heart Program” for CHF Patients

by Paul Hiltz, President/CEO, FACHE

In partnership with Preferred Care Home Health’s One Heart Program, NCH is helping patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure to help improve their quality of life.

One of the main reasons that people with congestive heart failure (CHF) seek care at a hospital is due to shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – often because of fluid that accumulates in the lungs.

Fluid retention can also cause swelling in the lower extremities, thighs, or abdomen. Intravenous diuretics are typically prescribed in the hospital to decrease excess fluid in the body. Patients are stabilized and oftentimes discharged home with prescriptions for oral diuretics to help prevent future episodes of fluid retention and difficulty breathing.

Preferred Care’s Jill Panetta MSN, APRN developed the One Heart Program in January of 2021 to provide advanced medical care in the comfort of patients’ homes. Panetta graduated from Yale University and has over 20 years of experience caring for patients with a variety of cardiac disorders, including CHF.

Panetta’s goal in developing this program was to keep patients with CHF out of the hospital and improve their symptom burden and quality of life.

The One Heart Program utilizes a holistic approach to the care of patients enrolled. The One Heart Team routinely updates and collaborates with caregivers, referring physicians, and cardiologists. Medicare and private insurances cover the expense.

Key One Heart Program features:

  • The ability to administer intravenous Lasix in the home, when indicated.
  • In-depth education helps support both the patient and the family regarding medications and regimens commonly used in the treatment of CHF.
  • Comprehensive low sodium diet education and customized meal planning with our registered dietitian.
  • 7 day/week symptom surveillance and monitoring of vital signs.
  • Regular home visits with experienced cardiac nurses
  • Occupational and physical therapists and social workers.

Patients are monitored daily with very high-tech telemonitoring devices. And when symptoms or fluid weight gain present, we send our nurses to the home to evaluate the patient and administer intravenous Lasix if needed. All of this is done to help prevent hospitalization.

Every day, patients utilize an electronic scale, blood pressure cuff, oxygen meter and answer targeted questions regarding symptoms. These results are electronically transmitted to the specially trained One Heart Team using an iPad-type device.

The data is analyzed by the Team and helps to identify when a patient is declining or is having subtle signs/symptoms of fluid accumulation and are triaged accordingly.

The One Heart Program team triages patients depending on what’s going on. There are many things that set this program apart from other home care agencies in the area. First is their use of industry leading remote patient monitoring equipment and the fact that they can administer intravenous Lasix in the home.

With the patient’s physician, they develop a collaborative plan to help manage flare ups.

For more information, contact the Preferred Care Home HealthServices One Heart Program at (239) 500-7500.

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