Walk in a Nurse, Walk out a Cardiac Rehab Specialist

 

November has been the busiest month for us, as we are starting to reach some major milestones and achievements. Check out the highlights below

  1. Clinician Training- One of the most important parts of this project is to train the clinicians. In order for our patients to receive specialized cardiac rehabilitative care at home, it’s crucial that the home care clinicians go through a comprehensive training program to ensure they are prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver the core competencies of cardiac rehab. We based our program design on the program and professional core competencies of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, to ensure we are aligned with national competencies, and adapted them to be feasible in the home care setting. Our 4-hour trainings were taught by a series of content experts from NYU Langone Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. We proudly trained approximately 54 home care clinicians, and now have an interdisciplinary care team of Registered Nurses (RNs), Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) prepared to lead our pilot program. Additionally, attendees are our training included a variety of healthcare students, such as nurse practitioner students and social work students, as well as members of the leadership at both NYU Langone Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. We are confident that our training prepared the home care clinicians with the knowledge and skills needed to bring cardiac rehab to patients at home, and are proud to call them Cardiac Rehab Specialists! 
  2. Program Materials- With a training and program comes materials; we successfully designed and manufactured Home Heart Health materials for both clinicians and patients. For the clinicians, we produced a 51 page training manual, to ensure the clinicians have all the educational tools they need to become Cardiac Rehab Specialists and use our specialized care program with patients. This training manual aligned with the 4 hour training the clinicians attended. We also produced a clinician pocket guide, which is a 5x7 brief guide outlining interventions checklists for clinicians at each visit, as well as providing an overview of the most important information from the training. This guide serves to help clinicians on the day to day- what do I do at each visit when I am delivering home-based cardiac rehab care to these homebound patients?  Last but certainly not least, we produced materials for our patients! After collecting preliminary data, we deduced that the best approach to educating our patients is with concise educational tools, with easy-to-understand descriptions and visuals. We produced educational tools and reminder sheets for patients about heart healthy diets and exercising- and included fridge magnets! We also have one to two page diagnosis teaching tools, for the RN to review with the patient, to ensure that patients in our program have an understanding of their diagnosis, its symptoms, and what they can do to improve and maintain their health.
  3. Interviewer Training- While the clinician training and materials are integral to the program development and launch, we also have been preparing for the research side of the project. In order to track our patients’ progress, we created a team of interviewers to visit the patients in their homes to ask a series of questions about the patients’ experiences in the program. These interviews will help us both track patient progress and revise the program to impact an even larger number of patients in the future. Our interviewers attended a 4-hour training session, and then a 2-hour booster, where they practiced recruiting, consenting, enrolling, and interviewing patients into our program.

And now we are off! We are excited to announce that we are officially enrolling patients into the program. We are confident that our pilot program will help bring patients desperately-needed rehabilitative support in their homes, specialized for their cardiac conditions. We are excited to impact our patients throughout New York, and improve upon our program to prepare to make a larger impact in the future. Stay tuned for preliminary results of the program and to learn more about how we are impacting our patients!