new patient unit dedicated to the care of patients with heart failure has opened at St. Clair, bringing a fresh and all-encompassing approach to the management of this common, debilitating condition. Christopher Pray, M.D., FACC, is the conceptual architect of the program, and he brings a new philosophy to the effort. “My vision is to simplify and consolidate all services for heart failure patients into a single unit where an expertly trained, experienced, multidisciplinary team provides the highest quality care. Our goal is to improve the quality and quantity of our patients’ lives through cutting-edge therapies, meticulous symptom management, and support services at home.”
Dr. Pray believes the strength-based approach of the heart failure team will accomplish several important goals: improved quality of life for patients; delayed progression of disease; symptom relief; and reduction of hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Often, heart failure patients with very complex diseases require re-admission due to worsening symptoms; Dr. Pray says that this can be traumatic for the patient and can lead to further debilitation due to inactivity during hospitalization.
Heart failure is a complex syndrome that exacts a heavy toll on patients and their families. Patients may struggle with shortness of breath, fluid retention, weight loss or gain, fatigue, and exercise intolerance.
In the past, patients with heart failure could be admitted to any unit in the hospital. Now, all patients with a diagnosis of heart failure are admitted to the new, dedicated unit, making it easier for Dr. Pray and the special heart failure team to hone in on the problems patients are experiencing. They make daily collaborative patient rounds and are able to devote more time to each patient. Patient education is a priority: learning self-management strategies such as daily weight checks is a key to preventing complications.
To contact the Heart Failure Treatment Program at St. Clair, please call 412.942.7900