Inpatient Rehabilitation Post Open-Heart Surgery Helps Patients Return to Daily Life Activities – Faster and Safer

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Patients discharged directly home after open-heart surgery have a higher survivorship than patients discharged to post-acute care facilities, making Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute’s customized rehabilitation program ideal for patients to return home and enjoy a higher quality of life post open-heart surgery.

Memorial Healthcare System received the 2022 Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals for its 'Keep Your Move in the Tube' program.

“Instituting rehabilitation earlier in a patient’s recovery during their hospital stay and further customizing it for each individual patient has shown a huge positive impact in the patients’ lives and an increase in our overall patient safety." - Susan Triano, director of Rehabilitation Services

Open-heart surgery patients can now enjoy full functional lives post-surgery, thanks to a new treatment prior to discharge that uses rehabilitation as a bridge to full recovery. Patients discharged directly home after open-heart surgery have a higher survivorship than patients discharged to post-acute care facilities, making Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute’s customized rehabilitation program ideal for patients to return home and enjoy a higher quality of life post open-heart surgery.

Memorial’s program called, “Keep Your Move in the Tube: Alternative to Standard Sternal Precautions,” is focused on customizing a program for patient’s self-identified goals, such as holding a baby post open-heart surgery, or going fishing. The rehabilitation team simulates activities and role-plays with patients so when they are discharged, patients are safe and thriving.

Previously, as part of their inpatient treatment, patients who had open-heart surgery were given strict precautions that limited function and prevented lifting and pushing with the arms – known as sternal precautions. These limitations may increase the chances that patients are transferred to a post-acute facility for further care, delaying patients from doing some of the most routine activities of life.

“Instituting rehabilitation earlier in a patient’s recovery during their hospital stay and further customizing it for each individual patient has shown a huge positive impact in the patients’ lives and an increase in our overall patient safety,” said Susan Triano, ClinScD, CCC-SLP, FACHE, director of Rehabilitation Services, Memorial Regional Hospital. “Open-heart patients have greater freedom of movement and increased functional independence. This evidence-based practice can be adopted by any caregiver to enhance the outcome for patients everywhere.”

Memorial’s goal was to increase the percentage of patients being discharged home, rather than been transferred to an acute care facility for further management. Before the program was instituted, 42% of patients were discharged directly home, and 58% were discharged to a secondary facility. In a year and a half of the program’s implementation, 86% discharged directly home, 14% discharged secondary facility.

Because of this innovation in care that is centered on patient safety, Memorial Healthcare System received the 2022 Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals. Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute has become a destination center with best practices in care and outcomes. To learn more and/or make an appointment, visit https://www.mhs.net/services/cardiac-vascular or call 855-400-6284.

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The Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute is a cardiovascular care leader, offering a wide array of services dedicated to the prevention, detection, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Its multi-disciplinary specialists collaborate using sophisticated diagnostic equipment and facilities. Cardiovascular care outcomes are regularly reviewed by physician-review panels and nurses to ensure quality assurance that utilizes computerized data collection.

Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., is one of the largest hospitals in Florida and is a facility within Memorial Healthcare System, one of the largest public healthcare system's in the nation. Its wide scope of medical services and programs includes Memorial Cancer Institute, Breast Cancer Center, Cardiac and Vascular Institute, Neuroscience Center, Comprehensive Weight-Loss Surgery Program, Family Birthplace, Center for Behavioral Health, Sickle Cell Day Hospital, Women’s Services, Fitness and Rehabilitation Center, and a level I Trauma Center.

For more information, visit http://www.mhs.net/locations/memorial-regional.

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Kerting Baldwin, Ed.D, APR
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