An estimated 6.2 million adults in the U.S. have congestive heart failure, a chronic condition often caused by heart disease. For people recently diagnosed and hospitalized with heart failure, the new outpatient Advanced Heart Failure Clinic at Sharp Memorial Hospital offers hope.
For over 60 years, Sharp Memorial has earned a reputation for innovation and successfully treating advanced heart failure. And it is where San Diego’s first heart transplant was performed.
At Sharp Memorial, patients have the support of an expert team of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, electrophysiologists and nurse practitioners that provides comprehensive heart and vascular care.
Before leaving Sharp Memorial, patients receive the clinic’s support, including medications delivered to their bedside, and education ensuring they understand and know how to manage their condition.
Follow-up care is critical. All patients are encouraged to visit the clinic within one week of leaving the hospital to meet with a nurse practitioner who manages their care with joint visits from cardiologists specializing in heart failure. The nurse practitioner focuses on providing further education and starting a treatment plan known as quadruple therapy.
Quadruple therapy, which uses a combination of four different classes of medication, has been shown to significantly improve heart function. The clinic closely monitors patients weekly or biweekly to adjust medication doses and achieve stability. Echocardiograms are performed to assess heart function and track improvements.
Once patients are stable, the frequency of visits can be reduced.
In cases where patients need extra support, the clinic’s team members evaluate them to determine if they are suitable candidates for more advanced therapies, such as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or heart transplant.
The Advanced Heart Failure Clinic is designed to shift the focus from heart failure to heart success by providing excellent care, education and monitoring. By actively managing patients’ conditions, the clinic strives to improve their quality of life and promote positive outcomes for people with heart failure.
Sharp has cardiac specialists across San Diego County focused on helping people improve their heart health. To learn more or register for a free, on-demand webinar on heart failure, visit sharp.com/heart, or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.