Cardiac Solutions is a comprehensive approach to patients with primary cardiac diagnoses or significant comorbidities in which the monitoring of vitals and setting goals are based on the patient’s acuity and functional needs. This process is critical to the patient’s rehabilitation.

Cardiac Solutions was adapted based on the proposed model for cardiac care in the post acute care setting by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). It is well known in the cardiac health care industry that survival rate increases significantly among those who participate in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Unfortunately, a significant amount of appropriate patients do not transition to outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac Solutions is a collaborative partner in the continuum of care by seeking to reverse that trend.

What is different about Cardiac Solutions?
A patient who is deemed appropriate by our physical and occupational therapists to be considered a cardiac solutions patient receives the following:
• Regular monitoring of vitals (e.g. blood pressure, pulse rate, pulse oxymetry, respiratory rate) and exercise and activity are adapted as appropriate
• Pain monitoring
• Establishing baseline for functional outcome measures related to strength and cardiopulmonary endurance
• Risk stratification – based on several indicators such as medical history, ejection fraction and other items, a patient is categorized into a high, moderate or low risk and exercise/activity are limited to that category
• Cognitive screening performed by occupational therapy
• Setting of parameters and guidelines – through collaborative approach with the referring physician and/or nurse practitioner, proper target heart rate guidelines and other precautions are carried out

An individualized plan of care is established through functional assessment with regards to any precautions:
• The national average stay for a cardiac patient in the transitional care unit (TCU) is 10 -12 days. During that time the cardiac solutions patient receives interventions that will promote function such as standing, walking, activities of daily living as well as become educated on necessary compensatory techniques to stay within a precaution or contraindication guidelines.
• A key element to longevity is reducing cardiac risk factors. Education is a key intervention for reversing risk factors and therapists either institute or reinforce that which began in the hospital or from their TCU health care provider colleagues (e.g. nursing, social work).

When it’s time to discharge:
• Communication is key to a successful transition. Collaboratively with other TCU health professionals, our therapists will provide clinical documentation as to the patient’s performance so that the next level of care can readily have knowledge as to the patient’s functional performance and any barriers.
• All along and at time of discharge the patient receives continued education as to participating in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation when appropriate.