Texas Health Arlington Memorial is First in Nation to Receive Acute Heart Failure Center Designation
07/09/2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital became the first hospital ever to be named an Acute Heart Failure Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Texas Health Arlington Memorial Heart Failure Clinic
Vanessa Ransom, a heart failure patient at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, is weighed by Terri Nabozny, R.N., A.C.N.P., manager of the hospital’s heart failure clinic.

The designation, given on July 2, means Texas Health Arlington Memorial has met stringent national standards for rapid recognition and comprehensive treatment of heart failure. Heart failure, the progressive loss of the heart’s ability to pump blood, is the leading cause of hospitalization among patients over age 65 and the most costly cardiovascular illness in the U.S.

Hospitalizations will cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $37 billion this year, according to the American Heart Association. Nationally, accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers is linked to better patient outcomes and more lives saved, according to an Emory University School of Medicine study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in July 2008.

“The Acute Heart Failure Center is a cutting-edge, best practice model of care that leads to better outcomes and reduced hospital visits for heart failure patients, a population known for repeated readmissions,” said Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., medical director of the hospital’s emergency department. “The designation is really about improving their quality of life.”

To become an accredited Acute Heart Failure Center, hospitals must prove quick and effective treatment of heart failure patients from the first call to 911 through discharge from the hospital.

Success largely depends on collaboration between emergency medical providers and medical professionals in the hospital’s emergency department, cardiac intensive care unit, cardiologists, and heart failure nurses who work together through a well-rehearsed treatment process to achieve the best outcome for patients.

Last year, the hospital opened an intensive outpatient clinic to reach out to the community and educate patients about heart failure — two of the 10 components for accreditation. The clinic has reduced readmission rates for heart failure patients from 7.3 percent to 2.8 percent.

“As a provider and coordinator of care, we realize the need to help our heart failure patients navigate through the treatment process beyond the walls of the hospital,” said Kirk King, FACHE, the hospital’s president. “The heart failure clinic is one example of our commitment to preventive health care that has proven to be successful."

The clinic’s heart failure nurses help monitor patients’ weight, blood pressure, medication, and other factors that could impact a weak heart.

“Heart failure is a chronic condition that requires constant management through diet, lifestyle and medication,” said Terri Nabozny, R.N., A.C.N.P., manager of the hospital’s heart failure clinic. “By continually following up with these patients at our clinic, we help keep them in control of their disease and out of the hospital.”

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a non-profit international society dedicated to improving the quality and timeliness of care for patients with heart disease and heart failure. For more information, visit scpcp.org.

About Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital is a 417-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. The hospital’s services include comprehensive cardiac care, women’s services, orthopedics, an advanced imaging center and emergency services. Texas Health Arlington Memorial is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Arlington.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.