As February is Heart Month, we’re highlighting stories of excellence in cardiac care. (Photos and videos were produced prior to COVID-19.) To learn more about the value of an integrated health care system, explore the webinar series Integrated Health Care in Action, with monthly sessions from February to June 2021.
I have had a long history of being excited about innovations in medicine, where medicine is going to go next. I work in an organization that values that. One of the things I really love about the practice of cardiology is that we’ve really managed to heal and recover people in the home. We’re also able to use novel technologies like wearables.”
— Cardiologist Chileshe Price, MD
Advancing care through virtual cardiac rehabilitation
Dr. Chileshe Price, a cardiologist in Southern California, is passionate about Kaiser Permanente’s virtual cardiac rehabilitation program, which started in 2019. Patients who are recovering from cardiac events at home use wearable fitness trackers that monitor their physical activity and heart rate.
We’re able to get remote monitoring and minute-to-minute information on how much people are doing [at home] after they experience these [cardiac] events. This particular program I’ve only been able to do within Kaiser Permanente.”
And the outcomes are appreciable: More than 80% of participants complete the program, compared to a national average of less than 50% for hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Team care and a focus on data make it possible. “We’re able to monitor patients’ steps, monitor their heart rates, and all that information is being analyzed by our nurse case managers,” explained Dr. Price. “They reach out to the patients on a weekly basis and guide them through those critical steps after a cardiac event to bring them healing and recovery.”
Read more: A passion for the practice of cardiology: Dr. Chileshe Price shares her commitment to advancing cardiac care through innovation
Bringing healing home with virtual cardiac rehabilitation
View the video: Cardiologist Chileshe Price, MD, on Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation
Promoting heart health through research in an integrated system
Working within an integrated health care system, we are able to partner with our clinicians and operational leadership at Kaiser Permanente to address important questions and knowledge gaps that can lead to changes in health care practice and ultimately improve the health of our members as well as the broader community.”
— Epidemiologist Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH
Epidemiologists study patterns of disease and health conditions in populations, as well as factors associated with disease and health conditions. As director of epidemiologic research at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, Dr. Kristi Reynolds focuses on heart health and ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States.
For example, hypertension, or high blood pressure, is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” as it causes no warning signs or symptoms that would signal a cardiovascular risk. “Therefore it’s really important for us to be able to identify, detect, and treat high blood pressure so that we can prevent heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage,” says Dr. Reynolds.
Putting collaboration at the heart of cardiac care
What I enjoy about working at Kaiser Permanente is that everybody comes together as a team. We have a collaborative approach, where I know that my patients are going to have care and follow-up that is appropriate and well-integrated.”
— DeeAnn Rivera, MD
For Dr. DeeAnn Rivera of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, cardiology is a highly innovative specialty. A collaborative approach to team care, enabled by technology, allows cardiac patients to receive the right treatment at the right time and recover fully.
For more on population health and the value of an integrated health system, join KP International for the webinar series Integrated Health Care in Action, with monthly sessions on Tuesdays from February to June. Register now at kp.org/international.
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