Heart and Vascular Center opens integrated center for outpatient care
Lavanya Bellumkonda (left), MD, director of General Heart Failure, YNHH, and Kathy Tucker, APRN, oversee the new Transitional Care Unit, helping patients with heart failure maintain their independence and quality of life and avoid hospital readmission.
Yale-New Haven Hospital is the largest provider of heart and vascular services in Connecticut and patients are now able to get advanced care at one central location: the newly expanded Yale-New Haven Hospital Heart and Vascular Outpatient Center located on the second floor of the Yale Physician Building.
The Heart and Vascular Center (HVC) offers a comprehensive array of services for patients who have congestive heart failure, cardiac rhythm and fainting disorders, congenital disorders, abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid stenosis, critical limb ischemia, and peripheral arterial and venous disease. The center also sees patients who need pre- and post-surgical care.
For patient convenience, a wide range of diagnostic imaging services is also available on-site, including non-invasive peripheral arterial studies, cardiac exercise stress testing and holter monitoring. YNHH blood drawing and laboratory services are conveniently located on the same floor adjacent to the center.
"We have developed a collaborative practice model between the hospital and Yale Medical Group that is dedicated to delivering personalized care to our patients," said Michael Remetz, MD, medical director of Heart and Vascular Center Ambulatory Services. "This center integrates our outpatient care, resources and staff for our patients who have cardiac and vascular disease."
The centerpiece of the HVC Outpatient Center is the new Transitional Care Center (TCC) for patients with advanced heart failure. The TCC provides five private infusion chairs and patients can have their heart rate and rhythm monitored by telemetry and receive intravenous diuretics, if needed. Social workers help address socioeconomic issues that might compromise a patient's medical care and pose challenges to his or her ability to successfully follow recommended treatment protocols. The TCC also offers heart failure education for patients, families and caregivers.
"The treatment for heart failure requires a specialized, multidisciplinary approach," said Kathy Tucker, APRN, associate director of HVC Outpatient Programs. "Hospital readmissions are potentially preventable when patients are effectively treated in a dedicated outpatient setting allowing fragile patients to maintain their health status at home.
"At the TCC, we care for patients within seven days of their hospital discharge to reinforce patient education, ensure that medication is correctly managed and address weight and nutrition concerns," she points out. "Our mission is to provide our patients and their families with the tools they need to successfully improve their quality of life and minimize hospitalizations."
The 9,970-square foot outpatient center features 21 exam rooms, cardiac and vascular ultra scanner imaging rooms, one stress testing room and one procedure room. At the HVC Outpatient Center, specialized cardiologists, interventional radiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons and diagnostic radiologists care for patients.
"Putting all of the caregivers in a single center to provide patients access to the most advanced and multidisciplinary heart and vascular treatment is a new approach that will ensure superb cardiac and vascular care," said Leslie Scoutt, MD, medical director of the Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory and chief of Ultrasound. "It facilitates better communication among physicians, improves patient satisfaction, and generally allows us to deliver better, more integrated and personalized patient care by capitalizing on the strengths and expertise of cardiologists, surgeons and radiologists."