Risk Evaluation in Action for Cardiovascular Health (REACH®)
Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Although nearly one million people in the U.S. die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, few people recognize they are at risk until they experience a heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital has developed an innovative program to help patients recognize their risks and reduce the consequences of CVD. The REACH® (Risk Evaluation in Action for Cardiovascular Health) program helps improve the heart health of our patients through education, lifestyle changes and use of proper medications.
How the REACH® Program Works
Upon admission to the hospital patients are screened for CVD risk. Their physicians are then notified so that risk-reduction therapies, including lifestyle changes and medications, can be included in the treatment plan while the patient is in the hospital.
Risk-reduction therapies are prescribed for patients experiencing:
- History of cardiovascular disease
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Circulation problems in legs (peripheral vascular disease)
- Metabolic syndrome
Coordinated Cardiac Care
To ensure that the patient's care is coordinated, each of a patient's physicians receives a copy of the assessment, treatment guidelines and information about any new recommended medications. All members of a patient's treatment team, including the physicians and nurses, as well as the patient and family, will be familiar with the risk reduction recommendations.
During the hospital discharge process, a nurse completes a cardiovascular risk reduction assessment and discusses the summary with the patient. Cardiovascular disease educational materials and healthy living guidelines are also provided to the patient.
Learn more about cardiovascular disease at our Online Health Encyclopedia.