After hospitalization for a cardiac event, older adults are frequently discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) for postacute care. The American Association of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation recommends that cardiac care be integrated into procedures at SNFs.Objective:
We undertook this research to describe the characteristics of patients in SNFs after a cardiac event and the cardiac care delivered at SNFs.Methods:
A dual approach included (1) a retrospective medical record review of consecutive patients admitted to 2 hospital-based SNFs after a cardiac event (n = 80), and (2) surveys from healthcare professionals (n = 21) working in these facilities.Results:
Thirty-two percent of patients were not candidates for cardiac rehabilitative interventions because they had been rehospitalized, discharged to long-term care facilities, or manifested contraindications to exercise. No standard assessment of exercise tolerance was evident, and although 70% of patients were discharged home, cardiac-specific discharge education was seldom evident. Healthcare professionals in SNFs reported that standard procedures for cardiac care services were lacking.Conclusion:
The integration of cardiac care into SNFs is important to ensure the safety of therapy and improve the transition of patients from SNFs to outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs.