Trident Health System December 17, 2013

Charleston, SC - The Heart Center at Trident Health has been selected as one of 10 hospitals in the country to participate in the American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program, the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to support hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick return to the hospital.

“We are pleased to be just one of ten hospitals in the country selected for this program,” said Allison Walters, AVP of Cardiovascular Services. “We are already nationally recognized for how well we take care of our patients. This new endeavor will raise their level of care after leaving the hospital.”

Nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis. Readmissions can be related to issues like stresses within the hospital, fragility at discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions and inability to carry out discharge instructions.

“Trident Health, through its interdisciplinary approach has shown great success in improving patient outcomes. We are looking forward to using this approach to equip our patients with key self-care initiatives to improve their transition of care from hospital to home, says Bill Yarbrough, MD, Cardiovascular Medical Director.

The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program to support a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable. Hospitals chosen were given funding to establish a program that supports a culture of patient-centered care that can be implemented in other hospitals in the future. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.

“The ACC Patient Navigator Program will serve as a test for innovative, patient-centered solutions to address issues that impact patient health and patient readmissions,” said ACC President John G. Harold, MD, MACC. “Trident Health is a pioneer in a new approach to heart disease treatment and care that puts emphasis on a team approach to meeting patients’ ongoing needs and helping patients make a seamless transition from the hospital to the home.”

By the end of 2015, the ACC will enroll at least 35 hospitals in the Patient Navigator Program.