Cardiac rehabilitation is associated with up to a 45% reduction in mortality rates from all causes.*
* Source: Journal Circulation 2011
Understanding Cardiac Rehabilitation
Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) is a medically supervised education and lifestyle program. It is for patients with a cardiac-related illness and those who have undergone procedures such as coronary bypass or heart valve replacement/repair, heart attacks, stents, pacemaker/ICD implant, and/or those with coronary artery disease (CAD).
The goal of cardiac rehab is to significantly decrease or eliminate the risk factors that cause a progression of CAD. The program addresses physical, psychological and social aspects with the focus on healthy habits to last a lifetime.
Starting an exercise program and making other changes may seem intimidating, or even frightening to patients who have had a procedure or an incident. Case managers create a safe and secure environment that promotes long-term changes and inspires confidence.
Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to:
- Decrease mortality rates from all causes by up to 45%.
- Decrease risk of future heart attacks by 25%.
- Decrease the number of future emergency department visits.
- Decrease the overall cost of health care.
- Contribute to significant improvement in quality of life due to the positive effect on physical and mental health.
Doctors and patients agree that cardiac rehab is a valuable tool and resource. In general, patients who participate feel better and live longer.
WellStar Cardiac Rehab was established in 1989. It is an integral part of WellStar Health System programs for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for patients with coronary artery disease. The program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).
The program is based on a four-step process:
1. Initial and ongoing assessment of the patient to personalize a care plan.
2. Continuous communication with the referring physician.
3. Monitored exercise sessions in a safe and secure environment.
4. Education and counseling about lifestyle changes involving diet, smoking cessation, weight loss, depression, stress management, exercise and other topics
Our exceptional staff is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and systems including:
- Telemetry-based cardiac monitoring.
- Blood glucose monitoring for diabetic patients.
- Microfit Complete Fitness Assessment Program.
- Cardiac/aerobic exercise equipment.
- Nautilus exercise machines.
- Hydraulic resistance training.
- State-of-the-art emergency cart managed by staff certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).
- Audio-visual aids.
WellStar physicians emphasize a prompt, seamless transition from an incident or hospitalization to rehabilitation. Patients who are hospitalized for a cardiac-related illness will meet with a WellStar cardiac rehab educator while in the hospital to be introduced to the program.
Following release from the hospital, patients will begin a regular program of monitored exercise and lifestyle education as soon as medically appropriate as determined by their physician.