Sentara Heart Promise  

Sentara Heart Promise offers a one-of-a-kind support system that provides coordinated care for better health before, during and after heart surgery. Developed at Sentara Heart for coronary artery bypass and valve replacement surgery patients, Sentara Heart Promise provides:

  • Pre-surgical screening
  • Treatment planning
  • Coordination with cardiology specialists
  • Post-surgery follow-up care
  • Preventive services and counseling

The program’s centerpiece is a unique, pre-surgery assessment tool administered by nurse practitioners to evaluate a patient’s health prior to surgery. This clinical checklist is designed to identify underlying conditions that could disrupt scheduled surgery or complicate recovery. Since the pilot was created in 2012, the program has eliminated day of surgery cancellations for coronary artery bypass surgery and significantly reduced readmission rates.

Other major successes connected to Sentara Heart Promise include:

  • Identification of underlying conditions —such as pulmonary, blood or renal disease—prior to surgery, preventing complications or surgery delay
  • Decreases in postoperative atrial fibrillation, prolonged vent and post-operative renal failure rates
  • Decreased patient length of stay
  • Increased referrals
  • Decreased cancellation rates
  • Expansion of Sentara Promise to all elective cardiothoracic surgery patients and elective and inpatient coronary artery bypass and valve replacement patients
  • Development of a pre-anesthesia screening service (PASS) for procedures performed in the Sentara Heart Hospital operating rooms
  • A new hospital-wide blood conservation protocol
For the 90 patients who are served by the program each month, satisfaction rates continue to increase. The biggest benefit for patients is having a point of contact for the entire surgical timeline: preoperatively, postoperatively and up to 30 days from discharge.

“CABG patients in the promise program have an overall 21% reduction in hospital LOS as compared to the national average LOS”

— Denise Cox, DNP, FNP-C
Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioner
Surgical Program Development, Sentara Heart Hospital

2015 Outpatient CABG Only Patients (LOS Days)

Source: Sentara Heart