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Choose a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

 

By: Gordon Blackburn, PhD
Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a structured program of education and activity guided toward lifestyle modification, increasing functional capabilities and peer support.

Cardiac rehab is known to benefit those with:
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Post cardiac event, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Post procedure, such as angioplasty or heart surgery
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) or implantable devices (pacemaker or defibrillator)
A cardiac rehab program generally includes:
  • Exercise program- varies from a structured, monitored program to a more independent, less monitored program
  • Diet instruction - individual counseling to group classes
  • Educational classes on lifestyle changes and disease management
  • Emotional support - individual, group and peer support
Cardiac rehabilitation programs should be designed to meet the patient's specific needs. The goals are to:
  • increase functional capacity (the ability to carry out activities)
  • reduce risk factors
  • improve quality of life
  • improve outlook and emotional stability
  • increase knowledge about disease and increase self-management
How do you pick a cardiac rehabilitation program?

The best cardiac rehabilitation programs are multidisciplinary, with doctors, nurses, exercise physiologists, psychologists and dietitians either on the premises or in direct contact with the program staff. A good program will study each patient's needs and design a program just for him or her.

The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute encourages patients and family members to consider twelve points when choosing a rehab program:

  1. Do you need a doctor's referral to enter the program?
    Because cardiac rehab is a form of medical treatment, a doctor's referral should be required.
  2. Will your doctor receive regular reports?
    The program should report the patient's progress to the referring doctor.
  3. Is a doctor-supervised stress test required before you enter the program?
    This is important to identify any risks to the patient in following an exercise program and to design the activity guidelines.
  4. Are educational and counseling services available for you and your family?
    Coronary artery disease affects the whole family. Education and counseling can be of great support to all involved.
  5. Will an individualized treatment plan be developed for you?
    The staff should identify your risks and tailor a program to your needs.
  6. Is doctor supervision available during your exercise session?
    A doctor must be in the immediate area or have direct contact with staff. Find out who supervises your exercise sessions.
  7. Are you informed of the risks and benefits of the program?
  8. Is the staff specially trained and/or certified in the field of cardiac rehabilitation?
    Look who is setting up your program. Are they certified in their specialty area?
  9. Is the program certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
  10. Are all staff currently certified in CPR?
    There are standard certifications in this field. At least, everyone in the program should be certified in basic cardiac life support. At least one person with advanced cardiac life support certification should be present at each session.
  11. Are emergency procedures available for your review?
    The program should have an emergency policy that can be discussed with you.
  12. Are emergency equipment and supplies readily available?
  13. Are the fees and insurance coverage discussed with you?

Take these questions with you when you seek out a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs

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Cleveland Clinic Health System
Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program
9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195
The Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Pavilion JB-1
Phone: 216.444.9353
Fax: 216.444.4672

CCHS Cardiac Rehab Programs in Northeast Ohio

Euclid Hospital
18901 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, OH 44119
Phone: 216.692.8770
Fax: 216.692.7524

Fairview Hospital
18101 Lorain Rd., Cleveland, OH 44111
Phone: 216.476.7284
Fax: 216.476.2236

Hillcrest Hospital
6780 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
Phone: 440.312.7999
Fax: 440.312.2576

Marymount Hospital
12300 McCracken Rd, Garfield Hts, OH 44125
Phone: 216.587.8998, ext 2264
Fax: 216.587.8142

Medina General Hospital
1000 East Washington St, Medina, OH 44256
Phone: 330.721.5075
Fax: 330.721.4945

Sagamore Hills Medical Center
863 West Aurora Rd, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067
Phone: 330.908.1580
Fax: 330.908.3697

Wooster
721 East Milltown Rd, Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330.287.4583
Fax: 330.287.4581

CCHS Cardiac Rehab Programs in Florida

Weston, Florida
2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd.
Comprehensive Rehab Ste. 3rd floor, Weston, FL 33331
Phone: 954.659.5350 or 954.659.5370
Fax: 954.659.5371

Reviewed: 1/14

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2014 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

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