Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Riverside Healthcare

American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

The cardiac program at Riverside Healthcare is geared towards patients with chronic heart disease. Similarly, the pulmonary program is dedicated to patients with chronic pulmonary disease. Combining an environment of care for the two, represented by the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program, involves treating patients with heart or lung issues.

“A program of exercise is combined with education counseling and also support. Whether you’re learning about the condition as a new patient, or if you’ve had it for a while, we just reiterate how to care for yourself with chronic heart and lung conditions,” states Amy Hornbuckle, Team Leader of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Riverside Healthcare.

What Is Included in the Program?

The major component of the program is prescription exercise sessions. When patients enter the program, they typically receive up to 36 prescribed sessions. Each is individualized based on the patient’s unique needs. Sessions are monitored by a physician, as well as a multidisciplinary staff of experts.

Additional education includes information about managing diabetes, smoking cessation or reduction, heart-healthy and lung-healthy diet plans, and weight loss.

“We do have a registered dietician that helps in the program, educating our patients on nutrition. So, it’s a multifaceted program where we look at different avenues of your personal health,” notes Hornbuckle.

Which Types of Patients Receive Cardiopulmonary Care?

Cardiac patients seen in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program include those who are recovering from a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery, individuals with congestive heart failure, or anyone who experiences what is known as “stable angina.” These patients continue to have chest pain, even though they’ve undergone a procedure to repair the heart. “We help them manage that chest pain and also help their heart heal more,” explains Hornbuckle.

Typical pulmonary patients include anyone with chronic restrictive lung disease (e.g. COPD or emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis), lung transplant patients, and those with lung cancer.

AACVPR Certification Reflects Top-Level Care

The cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program recently received certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This national organization is made up of peers and medical professionals with the passion for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Programs that apply for the certification have to present documentation that they’re following evidence-based care and best practices, as well as achieving positive patient outcomes. “They look at research in the field, making sure we are up to date with the most current strategies and exercise prescriptions and protocols that will help the patient improve,” shares Hornbuckle.

Based on the results the cardiac and pulmonary programs had exhibited, AACVPR awarded dual certification—a prestigious recognition. Renewal is required every three years, which Hornbuckle describes as a “constant, ongoing process of education to the staff and constant process improvement to make sure we’re delivering that quality of care.”

Listen to an in-depth conversation on this topic with Hornbuckle, here.