Inpatient Rehabilitation Post Open Heart Surgery Helps Patients Return to Daily Life Activities

August 04, 2022

Gage Awards Quality Winner 2022

Open-heart surgery patients can now enjoy full functional lives post-surgery, thanks to a new treatment prior to discharge that uses rehabilitation as a bridge to full recovery. Patients discharged directly home after open-heart surgery have a higher survivorship than patients discharged to post-acute care facilities, making Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute’s customized rehabilitation program ideal for patients to return home and enjoy a higher quality of life post open-heart surgery.

Memorial’s program called, “Keep Your Move in the Tube: Alternative to Standard Sternal Precautions,” is focused on customizing a program for patient’s self-identified goals, such as holding a baby post open-heart surgery, or going fishing. The rehabilitation team simulates activities and role-plays with patients so when they are discharged, patients are safe and thriving.

Previously, as part of their inpatient treatment, patients who had open-heart surgery were given strict precautions that limited function and prevented lifting and pushing with the arms – known as sternal precautions. These limitations may increase the chances that patients are transferred to a post-acute facility for further care, delaying patients from doing some of the most routine activities of life.

“Instituting rehabilitation earlier in a patient’s recovery during their hospital stay and further customizing it for each individual patient has shown a huge positive impact in the patients’ lives and an increase in our overall patient safety,” said Susan Triano, ClinScD, CCC-SLP, FACHE, director of Rehabilitation Services, Memorial Regional Hospital. “Open-heart patients have greater freedom of movement and increased functional independence. This evidence-based practice can be adopted by any caregiver to enhance the outcome for patients everywhere.”

Memorial’s goal was to increase the percentage of patients being discharged home, rather than been transferred to an acute care facility for further management. Before the program was instituted, 42% of patients were discharged directly home, and 58% were discharged to a secondary facility. In a year and a half of the program’s implementation, 86% discharged directly home, 14% discharged secondary facility.

Because of this innovation in care that is centered on patient safety, Memorial Healthcare System received the 2022 Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals. Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute has become a destination center with best practices in care and outcomes. To learn more and/or make an appointment, call 855-400-6284.

Gage Awards 2022 Keep Your Move in the Tube

Memorial Healthcare System received the 2022 Gage Award for its innovative open-heart surgery inpatient rehab program.