Heart Success Patient Education Program

Heart Success is a patient education program that provides information and emotional support to patients who are faced with the dual challenge of cancer and heart failure (HF). The program has developed a multidisciplinary treatment approach to help the patient and their family member/caregiver take an active role in managing their condition.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Approach

The Heart Success team includes cardiologists, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses as well as dietitians, pharmacists, physical therapists and social workers. All of the team members have extensive experience in this field and offer expert management in the treatment of HF.  Patients and their family members/caregivers are also members of the team and are critical to the success of the treatment plan. By taking a collaborative treatment approach, we are affecting behavior change and positive outcomes in cancer patients with HF.

Program Components

Because patients have different learning styles, the HF team uses several teaching methods to educate patients. The nurse practitioner performs the highly informative educational counseling and follow-up in collaboration with the cardiologist and physician assistant. The patient education booklet, “Heart Success, A Resource Guide for Individuals Living with Congestive Heart Failure and Cancer and the “Health Diary” are reviewed and given to the patient. An important component of the program involves the patient’s daily entry into the Health Diary. The Heart Failure team then evaluates the data to determine the patient's treatment.

Along with the verbal, and literary information, patients can view a series of comprehensive HF educational videos. Patients have access to this program through the outpatient clinic or as an inpatient in their hospital room at their convenience. All of the materials, the booklet, diary and videos, are available in both English and Spanish. Providing this information through multiple teaching methods will empower our patients to take an active role in their health care.

A special support group, Heart 2 Heart, provides the patients and families or caregivers with a forum to discuss social and emotional issues related to living with HF. The Department of Cardiology has taken a step further and arranged educational seminars using the “Heart Success” booklet as a guide to instruct the nursing staff that cares for HF patients. This initiative called “Congestive Heart Failure Pathways” was selected by the Department of Practice Outcomes as a pilot program to demonstrate how a comprehensive patient education program can improve patient outcomes.

Production of the “Heart Success” booklet and “Heart Diary” was made possible by the generous support of the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support.