Cardiac Rehabilitation: Choosing a Program


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, Vascular & Thoracic 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 equipment and supplies readily available?
  12. 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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Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs - Ohio

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

Akron General
1 Akron General Ave., Akron, OH 44307
Contact Information:
Phone: 330.344.7640
Fax: 330.374.7995

Akron General Health & Wellness - Bath
4125 Medina Rd., Akron, OH 44333
Contact Information:
Phone: 330.665.8088
Fax: 330.665.8044

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

Fairview Hospital
18101 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44111
Contact Information:
Phone: 216.476.7284
Fax: 216.476.2236

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

Marymount Hospital
12300 McCracken Rd., Garfield Hts, OH 44125
Contact Information:
Phone: 216.587.8819
Fax: 216.587.8142

Medina General Hospital
1000 East Washington St., Medina, OH 44256
Contact Information:
Phone: 330.721.5075
Fax: 330.721.5370

South Pointe Hospital
20000 Harvard Rd., Warrensville Heights, OH 44122
Contact Information:
Phone: 216.491.6083
Fax: 216.491.6056

Union Hospital
659 Boulevard
Dover, OH 44622
Contact Information:
Phone: 330.602.0760
Fax: 330.364.6139

Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs - Florida

Indian River Hospital
1000 36th street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Contact Information:
Phone: 772.567.4311 ext. 2410
Fax: 772.562.9065

Martin Health
308 SE Hospital Ave.
Stuart, FL 34994
Contact Information:
Phone: 772.288.5870
Fax: 772.692.5139

Weston, Florida
3250 Meridian Parkway, Weston, FL 33331
Contact Information:
Phone: 954.659.6293
Fax: 954.659.5371

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/28/2018.

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