The Women’s Services and Cardiology departments at Valley Health System teamed up to ensure patients diagnosed with hypertension, gestational hypertension or severe preeclampsia receive follow-up care and heart health education.
“Hypertensive disorders are one of the major causes of maternal morbidity,” said Tia Welsh, chair of women’s services for Valley Medical Group. “There has recently been a high rate of hospital readmissions of patients diagnosed with hypertension, gestational hypertension, or severe preeclampsia, and we want to make sure our patients are staying healthy after their baby is born and taking care of themselves.”
At The Valley Hospital, those diagnosed with these conditions will be brought to the Cardiac Care Unit, where they will be seen by cardiac screening nurses who will discuss heart health and the cardiovascular risks associated with their diagnosis. Patients are given heart health information and resources and taught how to take their blood pressure. A blood pressure machine is provided free of charge to improve at-home monitoring, particularly for the first six weeks after discharge.
“The cardiac team is excited and honored to partner with Women’s Health Services to bring such an important aspect of health to the forefront of our patient’s minds,” said Mary Collins, director of cardiac surgery and cardiac specialty services for The Valley Hospital.
Discharged patients are also encouraged to set up appointments for a free heart screening six months later. Valley offers no-cost, noninvasive heart screenings for men and women starting at age 20. The heart screening includes extensive health history, a physical exam focusing on heart health, a review of lab work, and more.
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