Family health: High readmission rate for angioplasty is troubling

2014-02-25T06:15:00Z 2014-03-03T21:46:12Z Family health: High readmission rate for angioplasty is troublingBy THOMAS MALEY/for the Missoulian
February 25, 2014 6:15 am  • 

Percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty, is a common and effective procedure to open narrowed or blocked arteries supplying blood to the heart.

These procedures are usually performed in the hospital and can be lifesaving for heart attack patients. For other patients, PCI can reduce symptoms such as chest pain and improve a person’s ability to participate in activities like walking or sports.

However, one in seven patients undergoing PCI will return to the hospital within 30 days.

Readmission rates for PCI and other conditions vary widely by hospital. This variation suggests that there may be room for improvement.

At Community Medical Center, we are dedicated to reducing readmission rates and ensuring the highest quality of care. We participate in national programs, such as the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry, to measure the care we provide and compare that information to other hospitals across the country.

At Community, our readmission rate is no different than the 1,196 other hospitals participating in the CathPCI Registry across the nation.

We are constantly looking for ways to bring you better care.

We also strive to engage our communities, including physician offices, cardiac rehabilitation centers and agencies, in identifying opportunities to further reduce readmission rates for these procedures. For more information on this program, as well as every day strategies for heart health, visit

What can you do to prevent readmission?

• Understand why PCI was needed and what it means. Knowing what is going on in your body will help you take action to stay healthy.

• Follow all discharge instructions. Make sure you understand how to care for yourself at home. For example, which medications you need to take and when, any warning signs of problems, and/or if there are certain activities you should avoid and for how long.

• Take your medications as directed. Your heart doctor (cardiologist) may prescribe blood thinners and other medications to manage your condition. Don’t stop taking these without talking with your doctor first. To learn more about common heart medicines, visit

• Schedule, and keep, follow-up appointments with your cardiologist. This will help you work together to track your progress and know if treatments are working.

• Ask about cardiac rehabilitation. These programs are tailored to individual patients and can help lower the risk of future heart problems. A team of health professionals provides education and support to help you recover and start new, healthy habits, such as eating right and getting more exercise.

• Commit to a heart-healthier life. To keep your heart healthy and your arteries open, you need to live a healthier life. Eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise, stop smoking (if you smoke), and reduce stress.

• Report any changes. Tell your doctor if you start having chest pains or any other new or changing symptoms.

And remember, if you think you are experiencing a life-threatening event like a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Thomas Maley is a registered cath lab technologist and certified professional in health information systems at the Montana Heart Center at Community Medical Center.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian ( may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick