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Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Selected for American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program
Date: 12/11/2013
Contact: Rachel Champeau ()
Phone: 310-794-2270
Dr. Gregg Fonarow
Dr. Gregg Fonarow

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been selected as one of 11 hospitals in the country to participate in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to support hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick return to the hospital.

"We are pleased to be selected as one of the first hospitals to participate in this new program," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science and director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center.  "Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is award-winning for its performance in adhering to key national guidelines in care of heart attack and heart failure patients and we look forward to implementing this new patient-centered program."

Nationally, nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis.  Readmissions can be related to issues including comorbid illnesses, fragility on discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions and the inability to carry out discharge instructions.

The American College of Cardiology created the Patient Navigator Program to support a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable.  Hospitals chosen were given funding to establish a program that supports a culture of patient-centered care that can be implemented in other hospitals in the future.

Key program elements of the navigator program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will include enhancing care and the transition of care from hospital to home, early physician follow-up and monitoring and close disease management.

"The ACC Patient Navigator Program will serve as a test for innovative, patient-centered solutions to address issues that impact patient health and patient readmissions," said American College of Cardiology President Dr. John G. Harold.  "Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is a pioneer in a new approach to heart disease treatment and care that puts the emphasis on a team approach to meeting patients' ongoing needs and helping patients make a seamless transition from the hospital to the home."

By the end of 2015, the American College of Cardiology will enroll at least 35 hospitals in the Patient Navigator Program.  AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.

UCLA Health System has for more than half a century provided the best in health care and the latest in medical technology to the people of Los Angeles and the world. Comprising Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA; Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA; and the UCLA Medical Group, UCLA Health, with its wide-reaching system of primary care and specialty care offices throughout the region, is among the most comprehensive and advanced health care systems in the world. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For information about clinical programs or help in choosing a personal physician, call 800-UCLA-MD1 or visit www.uclahealth.org.

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit www.cardiosource.org