October 27, 2009First unit in the region dedicated solely to treating heart failure patients
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Patients suffering heart failure can now be admitted to the region’s first dedicated, inpatient Heart Failure Unit at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC). The new unit opened its doors today to serve as home to NGMC’s Inpatient Heart Failure Program, which Medicare data indicates has achieved better mortality and readmission rates than the national average (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).
"Studies indicate our new Heart Failure Unit will improve our readmission and mortality rates, which are already better than the national average," says Brenda Hott, MD, a cardiologist specializing in heart failure at Northeast Georgia Heart Center and medical director of the Inpatient Heart Failure Program at NGMC. "Moving all heart failure patients into one central location, rather than having them spread out amongst patients with other diagnoses, will allow our specialty-trained nurses to focus solely on treating heart failure."
The 13-bed Heart Failure Unit is located on the third floor of NGMC’s South Tower.
A patient is diagnosed with heart failure when his or her heart is weak and cannot pump enough blood out, or it is not able to relax properly to fill with blood. Some patients suffer both problems. NGMC’s Inpatient Heart Failure Program is comprised of board certified cardiologists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, case managers, nurses and dieticians who are experts in providing individualized treatment to patients suffering heart failure. Services include:
- A heart failure-certified nurse practitioner coordinating clinical care
- Education about medication, diet, and symptom, weight, and blood pressure management
- Heart Failure support group
- Lifestyle classes
- At-home monitoring
- Resources for dealing with quality of life and end of life issues
- An outpatient Diuresis Clinic, available by physician referral, which uses IV diuretics to help reduce the amount of fluid flowing through the arteries of patients who are retaining fluid.
"We’re proud to have a Heart Failure Unit which matches the intensity and dedication our staff has consistently demonstrated," says Dr. Hott.
Call 770-219-7466 for more information about Heart Failure treatment at NGMC, or visit www.nghs.com/heart-failure-services.