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Brittany Farms Plays Big Role in Congestive Heart Failure

Brittany Farms Health Center has become one of 10 facilities in the state to become Joint Commission Accredited for taking care of those with Congestive Heart Failure.

“We got into the congestive heart failure program because the Hospital of Central Connecticut wanted us to join the collaborative,” said Matt Catalano, admissions director. “Hospitals are now wanting to collaborate more with skilled nursing facilities.”

In 2012, how hospitals get paid by the government will be determined by patient re-admission. Facilities are working to stop those with the disease from being re-admitted within 30 days.

The facility is also pursuing a national certification through the joint commission for congestive heart failure that will make them one of the top centers in the country.

“That is really going to bring our program to being a state of the art program,” said Ami Desai, administrator. “We will be one of the first in the nation to have this program. It will really set us apart from everyone else.”

The facility also now is part of a collaborative with Hartford Hospital and the UConn Health Center for the condition.

“We trained our staff and have been recognized as a leader,” added Catalano.

When patients enter the facility they are immediately put under certain protocols including taking their weight at a certain time of day on the same scale, education on diet, attendance at a Heart Camp and given links to home care services and specialized skills for their condition.

Brittany Farms has two full-time nurse practitioners on staff which can be called upon at any time as needed.

“Diet is a key component,” said Desai. “It’s extremely important to be put on low sodium diet.”

A red flag for a congestive heart failure patient is the gain of 2 lbs in one day. It means they are retaining fluid and a doctor needs to be alerted.

The program allows teaching the patients and a caregiver all they need to know, including how to shop for the condition, before returning home.

How long patients stay at the facility with the condition is dependent on their individual situation.

“We are one of the few nursing facilities that has a congestive heart failure program that is evidence based,” said Catalano. “We are now talking with cardiologists and practitioners which wasn’t happening before.”

“Not only are we doing the program,” said Desai. “We are collecting data. We are seeing how we are doing and making changes to the program to better ourselves even further. It’s an exciting time. Hospitals are now sitting down at the same table with us to make things better.”