Northeast Cardiology Associates

Matters of the Heart…

A Community of Care Model

Supporting patients and helping them get back to their healthiest life possible sometimes requires specialty care. “When a primary care provider has done all they can for a heart patient with medications and education it may be time to consider more specialized care from a cardiologist,” shares Iyad Sabbagh, MD, EMMC’s Husson Internal Medicine. A partnership between primary care providers, EMMC’s Northeast Cardiology Associates and hospital pharmacists is proving that integration and collaboration are key when getting heart patients back on their feet quicker.

This innovative relationship is proven to make a difference and is a better way to care for our congestive heart failure patients. Patients benefit whether they are under the watchful eye of their primary care provider or at Eastern Maine Medical Center recovering from a cardiac event intervention. A system of checks and balances is in place that can go a long way in helping patients not fall through the cracks. Ongoing communication is the key, says Will Seavey, PharmD, EMMC Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, and a member of EMHS Beacon Health Transitions of Care. “The transition from the hospital to home can be problematic, especially in patients with chronic diseases like heart failure. These patients are at particularly high risk for readmission to the hospital. The collaboration between pharmacists, primary care providers, cardiologists, and nurse care coordinators has really made a positive difference in the care of these patients. There is better communication along the whole continuum of care. We continue to work to improve the program and reach more patients.”

At EMMC’s Northeast Cardiology Associates, where providers treat more than 12,000 patients from across two thirds of our state, this partnership allows for the  support and management of the most complex heart patients with the most accurate health information. Nurse care coordinators embedded in the primary care practices and at NECA work together helping patients as they get their heart disease under control and back to living life. It also makes transitions back to the primary care provider seamless – making this a model of care that ensures we all win. “Since moving to Bangor in 2006 and joining Northeast Cardiology, I have taken special interest in the care of patients with heart failure. Many people don't realize that heart failure carries a prognosis similar to many cancers and can cause great suffering for patients and families. During the last several years, more and more experts in this field have realized that coordinated care of heart failure patients is necessary to improve the lives and prognosis of patients with this disease. I feel lucky to be part of a team approach at EMMC and EMHS that has already shown that such coordinated care results in better outcomes for patients in our region,” shares Alan Jansujwicz, MD.