What does the phrase “destination healthcare” bring to mind?

For a growing number of people in Arizona and the southwest it means heart care, patient blood management or both of these specialized programs, provided by Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

Cardiac specialists from the James Family Heart Center and leaders from YRMC’s Patient Blood Management program (PBM) joined a live-stream event on October 17, 2019 at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center to speak about both of these innovative programs.

Over 600 participated in “YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management” at Yavapai College and the live-stream the event online.

YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management featured exceptional cardiac specialists: a Cardiologist, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, and a Structural and Interventional Cardiologist. Patient Blood Management experts also took part in the event. Together, these professionals highlighted the services, technology and teamwork that are the hallmark of YRMC’s Heart Program and Patient Blood Management Program.

“Neither of these programs existed 12 years ago,” said Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS, Medical Director of YRMC’s James Family Heart Center and Patient Blood Management Program. “Today, there is no other community hospital in Arizona or the southwest that offers what YRMC does. We are now a destination program for Cardiac Care and PBM.”

Defining PBM
Until recently, prestigious organizations like the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), all mentioned blood transfusions in their PBM definitions.

“They focused on thresholds for blood transfusion,” said Dr. Tibi, SABM’s Immediate Past President. “Today, the SABM definition states that PBM is a patient-centered approach that aims to improve patient outcomes.”

At YRMC, this is accomplished by:

  • Involving the patient in decision making
  • Identifying anemia and other conditions early
  • Managing conditions that can affect blood count
  • Minimizing blood loss during hospitalization
  • Embracing PBM tactics throughout the organization

“We focus on taking care of the entire patient and keeping the patient as safe as possible before, during and after a procedure,” said Dale Black, Coordinator, Patient Blood Management, YRMC. “And one way to keep patients safe is to not subject them to possibly unnecessary blood transfusions.”

YRMC: What Your Heart Needs
John Amos, President and CEO, YRMC, recalled the beginning of YRMC’s heart services, which launched in 2004 with a single Cardiac Catheterization Lab at YRMC West in Prescott.

“Even then, we envisioned a heart program that would bring together the latest services, exceptional specialists, unparalleled technology and compassionate caregivers,” said Amos.

YRMC took a major step toward that goal in 2007 when Dr. Tibi – a highly regarded Cardiothoracic Surgeon from Phoenix – joined YRMC. Dr. Tibi brought open heart surgery to the community, launched YRMC’s Heart Program and introduced PBM.

Under Dr. Tibi’s leadership, YRMC’s thriving, comprehensive Heart Program has grown to feature these services and exceptional cardiac specialists:

Structural Heart Disease ServicesSoundos Moualla, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Structural and Interventional Cardiologist, YRMC PhysicianCare, Prescott

  • Mitral Valve Repair with MitraClip
  • Paravalvular Leak Closure (PVL)
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
  • Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR)
  • WATCHMAN™/Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC)

Electrophysiology ServicesNisha Tung-Takher, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, YRMC PhysicianCare, Prescott

  • Curative Management and Ablation Procedures for Cardiac Arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, atrial tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions and ventricular tachycardia)
  • Device Implantations (pacemakers and defibrillators)
  • Remote Monitoring (pacemakers, defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy, CRT)
  • Heart Failure Management

Care with Compassion
YRMC’s Heart Program and PBM Program combine science and service, according to George Rizk, MD, Invasive Cardiovascular Medicine, YRMC PhysicianCare in Prescott.

“YRMC is doing what’s best for patients,” said Dr. Rizk, who presented during the live-stream event. “If you deliver the most scientifically advanced services without putting the patient’s interest first, you don’t get too far. YRMC’s team has a passion for helping patients.”

One way that YRMC does what’s best for patients was described by Elizabeth Black, YRMC’s Patient Blood Management, Data Manager. In the tradition of healthcare and acronyms, she called it “KTBITP” or “keeping the blood in the patient.”

Less than a decade ago, Black noted, blood transfusion was the most common procedure performed in U.S. hospitals. While some blood transfusions are deemed medically necessary, she said, they all come with risks. Those risks include increased infection rates, medical complications (kidney, lung and heart), and higher death rates.

PBM strategies combine evidence-based medicine with good clinical practice to maximize the patient’s blood health and reduce exposure to risks associated with transfusion.

A Field of Dreams
Dr. Rizk remembers the opening of YRMC’s first Cath Lab as a “field of dreams” moment.

“We thought: If we build it, they will come,” he said. “And, if you build it well, they will never leave.”

These statements are even more relevant today as YRMC’s Heart and PBM Programs emerge as destination programs.

To learn more about YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management check out YRMC HealthConnect. For information about YRMC’s Heart Program and PBM Program, visit our website.