The Medical Center, Navicent Health Commits to Assisting Those Living with AFib

Atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition marked by an irregular heartbeat, increases a patient’s risk for stroke, blood clots, heart failure and other heart-related complications. If left untreated, AFib may lead to death. However, many patients are unaware AFib is a serious condition. The Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH) is committed to raising awareness of this condition and navigating AFib patients toward wellness, and has implemented a three-part program to ensure the needs of AFib patients are met:

• Multidisciplinary Team Approach – MCNH recently developed a multidisciplinary team to guide AFib patients toward greater health and wellness. A program manager works closely with a team of clinical experts representing the fields of cardiology, electrophysiology, hematology, neurology, advanced practice nursing, and pharmacy to ensure collaboration and the implementation of the latest evidence-based practices in order to improve outcomes for AFib patients.;

• Nationally Recognized Measures and Benchmarks – MCNH has become one of two hospitals in the state to implement the American Heart Association’s “Get With the Guidelines – AFIB” program. This program will lead MCNH to meet specific quality achievement for the diagnosis and treatment of AFib. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for AFib patients.

• Professional and Patient Education Programs – MCNH will offer educational programs for physicians, clinicians and patients. Physicians and clinicians will be notified of the latest evidence-based treatments for AFib, while patients will be coached on disease management techniques.

“Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance in the United States. Recent medical advances continue to improve care for patients with AFib, but AFib represents a common cause of stroke. The important fact to remember is that stroke due to AFib can be prevented with proper care,” said Felix Sogade, MD, Physician Champion for Navicent Health’s AFib Center of Excellence Program.

AFib is caused by erratic electrical pulses passing through the heart, leading the heart to beat irregularly or at a higher rate of speed than is normal. Patients with AFib often experience a fluttering feeling, as well as shortness of breath, tiredness and/or dizziness. The American Heart Association estimates at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib, and predicts that number will rise as the population continues to age.

AFib requires treatment guided by qualified experts. Patients should not try to manage AFib on their own. Treatments may include prescription medications or specialized procedures called cardiac ablation. The board-certified physicians at MCNH are able to perform this procedure, guided by a three-dimensional mapping system, to electrically isolate the pulmonary veins and perform ablation around the openings of the veins. This procedure can completely eliminate the condition for the patient.

“At The Medical Center, Navicent Health, we specialize in treating and managing this condition, while reducing corresponding risks for complications so our patients may lead full, healthy lives into their later years,” said Johnnie Azar, RN, AFib Program Manager for MCNH.

“The Medical Center, Navicent Health is committed to helping those with AFib manage their disease, leading to better patient outcomes. We are leading the region in the treatment of AFib, and look forward to sharing success stories of patients treated through these new endeavors,” said Chris Hendry, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Navicent Health.

If you or a loved one are concerned about AFib and ready to seek treatment, contact Navicent Health at 1-844-633-7738 our AFIB Information line.

About Navicent Health

Navicent Health was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate the Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 830 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, a rural critical access hospital; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.


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