- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
- Device that tracks location of nurses re-purposed to record patient mobility
- Massachusetts General vs. Johns Hopkins: 6 key comparisons
- Depression, anxiety may cause patients to leave cardiac rehab
- Virtual Cardiac Rehab : Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine
- Cardiac Rehabilitation: Big Benefits With Perseverance
- What Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Involve?
- Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Work?
- How to Boost Cardiac Rehabilitation Success
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
SortPopularHighest RatingLowest RatingMost RecentOldest First
- “Hopkins employees have to pay for parking” (in 13 reviews)
- “They will tell you that benefits tuition reimbursement make up for the low pay, but if you’re not in college using that benefit, it’s useless” (in 6 reviews)
More Pros and Cons
I have been working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center full-time
Hopkins is a teaching hospital so they specialize in complicated diagnosis and really care about their patients
Hopkins employees have to pay for parking.
Flag as InappropriateFlag as InappropriateJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center2018-05-21
Thank you for sharing your experience and your review.
I have been working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center full-time for more than a year
Hires new grads in to ICU positions Self-scheduling Friendly
Patient population Pay for parking Outdated facilities Favoritism Company frequently looking to cut budget/cheap Understaffed Inconsistency in training of staff
Flag as InappropriateFlag as InappropriateJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center2019-11-13
Thank you for your helpful comments.
I have been working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center full-time for more than a year
Opportunities for learning Patient centered care Evidence based care practices Yummy new cafeteria Always OT Work Bonus pay for high needs unit is $55/hr Doctors are receptive to nursing suggestions Good relationships between doctors and nurses
Pay for parking Rotating shifts are mandatory even if you are not coping well with them. They care more about filling those slots than having safe nurses to care for the patients.
They will tell you that benefits tuition reimbursement make up for the low pay, but if you’re not in college using that benefit, it’s useless. The health insurance used to be phenomenal but now deductibles and copays are ridiculous and the premium is higher.
They give you $1 raises/year if you’re lucky but that all goes to health insurance and parking increases. Nursing unit managers are unprofessional and favoritism is blatant.
They don’t care about retaining nurses or techs, but throw a lot of perks at physicians, which is crazy because nurses and techs are the heart of this place. As a nurse you spend your day running behind all disciplines, coordinating all aspects of care, and correcting physicians mistakes.
Good nurses almost always leave for better paying jobs. Travel nurses come in making $20+ more an hour than staff nurses, work bonus is almost $30 more an hour than new grad base pay. They can definitely afford to pay nurses more. Time off is often denied which forces employees to call out and get penalized for it.
Flag as InappropriateFlag as InappropriateJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center2018-08-01
I have been working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center full-time for more than a year
You learn a lot as PCT.
Too many clicks, segregated Low pay Pay for Parking
Flag as InappropriateFlag as InappropriateJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center2017-11-25
Our week-long PCT training course is of real value to the CNA candidates who join us. We regret that your experience was not totally positive, and hope you will reach out to your leaders for assistance.
I have been working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center full-time
Good learning environment. Good advancement for younger nurses.
Have to pay for parking, which keeps going up. Only two weekends during the year, and you work every other weekend. Can only take one week off in the summer. This is after 10 years.
Device that tracks location of nurses re-purposed to record patient mobility
By repurposing badges originally designed to locate nurses and other hospital staff, Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they can precisely monitor how patients in the hospital are walking outside of their rooms, a well-known indicator and contributor to recovery after surgery.
A team of engineers and clinicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital developed the repurposed badges to study their value in tracking “ambulation,” or mobility, among inpatients who had undergone cardiac surgery.
The study, which began nearly four years ago and is described in a report published March 17 in JAMA Network Open, was inspired by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research Antony Rosen, M.D.
, who also directs the institution's precision medicine effort, inHealth. Rosen asked his colleague, Johns Hopkins University engineer Peter Searson, Ph.D.
, to help find ways to improve the assessment of how well patients are functioning.
“I was sold on Antony's vision to improve patient care by finding ways to make high value measurements of patients' functional status,” says Searson, the Joseph R. and Lynne C. Reynolds Professor of Engineering and a professor of materials science and engineering at The Johns Hopkins University.
After collecting information about how clinicians currently assess functional status day to day, Searson joined efforts with anesthesiologist and clinical researcher Charles Brown, M.D., who was conducting an ongoing study funded by inHealth, which focused on measuring the mobility of patients after cardiac surgery.
“Ambulation is important for hospitalized patients; in particular, for patients who have surgery and those who are older,” says Brown, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, whose research focuses on improving perioperative care for older adults. “More ambulation immediately after surgery probably helps preserve patients' cognitive and physical function, and is linked to spending less time in the hospital.”
Most of the nursing staff in the hospital wear small badges on their uniforms as location and paging systems. The badges send beams of light, much the ones used for TV remotes, to sensors in the ceilings of hospital rooms and corridors. The research team's idea was to adapt the system to assess how far and how fast patients walked after surgery.
Searson and In cheol Jeong, Ph.D., replicated the tracker system in their laboratory to see how well the devices could record the timing and speed of patients' movements.
The team ruled out other movement tracking devices that rely on GPS or accelerometers because they aren't sensitive enough to detect whether a patient is in or their room, and the devices may not register the typical shuffling gait of a patient recovering from surgery.
“The system collects and records real-time information about a patient's mobility,” says Jeong, a former trainee in Searson's lab and now assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.
For the study, the team obtained consent from 100 patients, mostly men, whose average age was 63, and attached trackers to their hospital gowns. Researchers collected information on how far and how fast patients walked in the unit's corridors every time they left their room.
Generally, patients are encouraged by hospital staff to walk outside of their rooms three times a day. Data collected by the Johns Hopkins team showed that approximately 25 percent of the 100 patients achieved that goal.
The Johns Hopkins team also found that the tracked mobility records among patients were more than 90 percent accurate in predicting the patients' 30-day readmission rate, discharge to home or rehabilitation center and their length of stay in the hospital.
Brown cautioned that, “There are many aspects of measuring and establishing ambulation metrics that aren't clear. Maybe the goal of three times a day needs to be refined or adjusted for baseline function and speed,” he explains. The researchers also said there may have been ambulation that wasn't captured by the device.
But the study results, he said, suggest the badges would be valuable in giving feedback to health care workers and patients, encouraging ambulation and helping clinicians identify earlier those who can benefit from earlier discharge or more intensive rehabilitation.
The researchers have filed patents for the technology developed for the study. Funding for the study was provided by Johns Hopkins inHealth.
Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Massachusetts General vs. Johns Hopkins: 6 key comparisons
Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital are two of the most prestigious, high-ranking hospitals in the United States.
Both institutions are lauded for their commitment to education, research, innovation and clinical care. They have garnered global recognition and their brands are emblems of premier U.S. medicine. But when stacked side by side, how do Massachusetts General and Johns Hopkins compare?
Note: Becker's Hospital Review periodically compares the nation's best systems. This article compares Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medicine. We recently published an article comparing Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. If you would to see a comparison of two systems, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johns Hopkins: Paul B. Rothman, MD, has served as the dean of the medical faculty, vice president for medicine of The Johns Hopkins University and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine since July 2012. As dean and CEO, Dr. Rothman oversees both the School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System.
- Dr. Rothman attended medical school at New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University and earned his medical degree in 1984.
- He completed a medical residency and rheumatology fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City before joining the medical faculty of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986.
- There, he also completed a postdoctoral biochemistry fellowship, studying immunoglobulin class-switch recombination. He eventually became Columbia's Richard J. Stock Professor of Medicine for Immunology and Microbiology and chief of the pulmonary, allergy and critical care division.
- Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rothman served as head of internal medicine at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, a role he held for four years.
Massachusetts General Hospital: Peter L. Slavin, MD, has served as president of MGH since 2003.
- Dr. Slavin graduated from Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., in 1979. He earned a medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1984 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1990.
- He completed his training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General from 1984 to 1987, eventually being appointed senior vice president and CMO, a role he filled from 1994 to 1997.
- Prior to his current role, Dr. Slavin served as president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., from 1997 to 1999.
- In addition to his duties at the helm of MGH, Dr. Slavin teaches internal medicine and healthcare management at Harvard Medical School, where he is a professor of healthcare policy.
2. System size
Johns Hopkins, founded in 1889, is an integrated global health enterprise that operates six hospitals, four suburban healthcare and surgery centers, and 39 primary care and specialty care outpatient sites. It also offers the Johns Hopkins U.S.
Family Health Plan, a managed care program developed by the Department of Defense. The USFSP offers comprehensive healthcare benefits to members of the U.S.
' seven uniformed services, including active-duty family members, retirees and their family members and survivors.
- Number of employees: As of Jan. 1, there are 41,000 combined full-time equivalent employees in the Johns Hopkins Medicine system, which includes facilities in St. Petersburg, Fla., Columbia, Md., Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Md., in addition to its Baltimore locations. There are 1,950 full-time attending physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the system's flagship hospital, 625 attending physicians at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore and more than 2,260 active medical staff across its other hospitals.
- Number of beds: The Johns Hopkins Hospital houses 1,192 licensed beds. Combined, the system has 2,816 licensed beds.
- Number of hospital visits: In 2015, there were more than 115,000 hospital admissions, more than 360,000 visits to the emergency department and upwards of 2.8 million outpatient visits across the total enterprise.
Massachusetts General Hospital opened its doors in 1811. It is the third oldest hospital in the U.S. and today operates five multidisciplinary care centers known worldwide for innovations in cancer, digestive disorders, heart disease, transplantation and vascular medicine.
- Number of employees: MGH's main campus and four health centers in Charles, Chelsea, Revere and North End, Mass., employs 24,877 workers, including 2,405 physicians.
- Number of beds: MGH's facilities house 999 licensed hospital beds.
- Number of hospital visits: the health system admitted 50,679 inpatients and handled nearly 1.5 million outpatients in 2015. Annually, MGH records more than 100,000 emergency room visits, performs more than 42,000 operations and delivers more than 3,600 babies per year.
John Hopkins has numerous strategic affiliations, including those with Anne Arundel Health System, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore.
It also has international affiliations in Brazil, Chile, India, Japan, Lebanon, Panama, Peru and Turkey. It has joint ownership with hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, and strategic collaborative engagements in Canada, China, Colombia and Mexico.
Massachusetts General Hospital is a founding member of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, which has established regional dominance in the Boston region.
MGH has numerous partners, including Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., Martha's Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs, Mass., and Nantucket (Mass.
) Cottage Hospital, as well as other affiliated healthcare providers in Maine and New Hampshire.
4. Academic medicine
Johns Hopkins. For the 35th consecutive year, in 2015 Johns Hopkins University was the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending at more than $2 billion, according to the National Science Foundation's ranking.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was ranked No. 2 in funding from the National Institutes of Health of all U.S. medical schools in 2015, with more than $420 million in funding. In fiscal year 2015, there were more than 1,200 medical and doctoral students enrolled in the medical school, with more than 2,700 full-time and 1,300 part-time faculty.
Massachusetts General Hospital is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where nearly half of the hospital's staff physicians serve on the faculty.
With an annual research budget of more than $786 million, MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the U.S., with a program that spans more than 20 clinical departments and centers across the hospital.
In fiscal year 2015, MGH was awarded a total of $352.92 million in funding from the NIH.
MGH offers 28 residency programs, 19 of which are accredited by ACGME. There are 851 residents, 866 doctoral students and a combined 1,380 research and clinical fellows at MGH.
5. Key financial statistics
Johns Hopkins: In fiscal year 2015, Johns Hopkins Medicine had net revenue of approximately $7.18 billion, $7 billion in operating expenses and a budgeted operating income of $182.3 million.
Massachusetts General Hospital: In fiscal year 2015, MGH had net revenue of $3.46 billion, $3.25 billion in operating expenses and $2.11 million in operating income.
6. National rankings
Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in Maryland by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals ranking. It is nationally ranked in 15 specialties, with nine in the top five and 11 in the top 10.
No. 1 — Rheumatology
No. 3 — Ear, nose and throat; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; and psychiatry
No. 4 — Urology
No. 5 — Diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and geriatrics
No. 6 — Cancer
No. 9 — Nephrology
No. 12 — Gynecology
No. 13 — Pulmonology
No. 16 — Cardiology and heart surgery
No. 20 — Orthopedics
Massachusetts General Hospital was ranked the No. 1 hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals rankings. Fifteen of the 16 specialties ranked by U.S. News were in the top 10 in the nation.
No. 1 — Ear, nose and throat
No. 2 — Diabetes and endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; and psychiatry
No. 3 — Gastroenterology and GI surgery
No. 4 — Geriatrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics and pulmonology
No. 5 — Cardiology and heart surgery
No. 6 — Nephrology, rehabilitation and rheumatology
No.8 — Cancer
No. 16 — Urology
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.
Depression, anxiety may cause patients to leave cardiac rehab
(Reuters Health) – Anxiety and depression are common among participants in cardiac rehab programs, and that poor mental health may cause them to drop out, a new study finds.
One in five patients in cardiac rehab after a heart attack or a procedure to open clogged coronary arteries may suffer from moderate to severe anxiety or depression, Australian researchers say.
And one in four of those with moderate depression, anxiety or stress symptoms may drop their cardiac rehabilitation programs, according to the report published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
“Health professionals need to provide extras support for those with co-morbid mental health symptoms to enable them to experience the full benefits of physical and mental health that cardiac rehabilitation programs offer,” said lead researcher Angela Rao, a PhD candidate at the University of Technology in Sydney.
“Cardiac rehabilitation programs do refer people to primary care for ongoing management if their psychological symptoms are severe or if people have mental health disorders,” Rao said in an email. “However, half of those with moderate symptoms remain depressed, anxious or stressed on completion of these programs and return to their usual environment without additional support.”
To take a closer look at the impact of mental health on cardiac rehab patients, Rao and her colleagues studied 4,784 heart patients treated at two Sydney hospitals between 2006 and 2017. All the patients completed mental health questionnaires upon entering the rehab programs.
Nearly one in five, 18%, had symptoms of moderate to extremely severe depression. More than one in four, 28%, had symptoms of moderate to extremely severe anxiety. And more than one in 10, 13%, reported symptoms of moderate to severe stress.
Rehab appeared to improve mental health symptoms for some patients, but nearly half of those with moderate anxiety or depression symptoms did not show significant improvement by the end of the program.
While both Australian and American cardiology groups recommend that cardiac rehab patients be screened and referred for treatment of depression and anxiety, this advice is often not followed in Australia, Rao and colleagues reported. “Standard screening and referral procedures for depression are not standard practice during hospitalization, and omission of screening varies between 29%-68% in CR programs,” they noted.
The new study should serve as a reminder to both patients and their doctors, said Dr. Mary Ann McLaughlin, director of Cardiovascular Health and Wellness at Mount Sinai Heart in New York City.
“Physicians should remember depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” McLaughlin said. “In general, we don’t screen for depression and anxiety as early as we should.”
The finding that 50% of patients still have symptoms after rehab means physicians need to encourage patients to follow-up with a psychologist or psychiatrist, McLaughlin said.
“This is a perfect opportunity to make a difference in our patients’ lives,” she added. “We need to reinforce the need for mental health treatment.
Just as taking aspirin and statins are important, treatment for depression and anxiety is critical.”
While the paper focuses on patients in cardiac rehab programs, many patients with depression don’t even show up for these programs, said Kerry Stewart, director of clinical research and exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.
There needs to be more of an effort to get these patients into rehab because it can help with both physical and mental health symptoms, Stewart said.
“While you can do a lot of what is done in cardiac rehab at home – you can walk on a treadmill on your own – you would miss the benefits of being in a group of people who have gone through what you are going through,” Stewart said. “That provides a social network that helps everybody. To me that is one of the biggest benefits of cardiac rehab.”
SOURCE: bit.ly/2oBp7iV European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, online October 9, 2019.
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
“,”author”:null,”date_published”:”2019-10-11T21:20:12.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources_v2/images/rcom-default.png”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-cardiac-rehab-idUSKBN1WQ2P5″,”domain”:”www.reuters.com”,”excerpt”:”(Reuters Health) – Anxiety and depression are common among participants in cardiac rehab programs, and that poor mental health may cause them to drop out, a new study finds.”,”word_count”:647,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}
Virtual Cardiac Rehab : Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine
You may remember Francoise Marvel, M.D. Last year, as a second-year resident at Johns Hopkins Bayview, she saw a need: 39 million hospital discharges happen every year in the U.S., and nearly 20 percent of those people wind up back in the hospital within a month. At highest risk during that critical 30 days are heart attack patients.
At least some of the fault lies in the hospital discharge instructions; these are inconsistent, often written by an intern or medical student and delivered by a nurse, and not terribly user-friendly.
It’s a lot of information to absorb in a short period of time, especially to a patient who just wants to get in the wheelchair and be wheeled out to the curb, get in the car, and go home.
One study in JAMA showed that only 40 percent of patients over 65 who felt they had a good understanding of their discharge instructions could describe accurately why they had been hospitalized, and 54 percent did not accurately remember instructions about their follow-up appointment.
No wonder so many people end up back in the hospital. Poor communication can have serious consequences.
Many heart attack patients go home with a stent to help keep a clogged artery open, and it is extremely important that they hear these words: You must take aspirin and Plavix, two essential blood-thinning medications. “That stent is very sticky,” Marvel says.
“Until the cells grow around it, without those blood thinners it’s almost certain that a clot will form.” These people need to take this medicine every single day and not stop, and “if they don’t do this, they will have a massive heart attack.”
“What our team is accomplishing will be transformative. We represented to the fullest what Hopkins is all about.”
Marvel began developing a prototype of an app that would serve as a discharge navigator.
Designed for people who, most of us, don’t know the first thing about cardiac rehab, the app walks them through the steps: it helps patients follow up with the heart doctor, connect with a pharmacy, social services, and even apply for insurance if they don’t already have it.
A key part of the app’s success, Marvel believed, is that patients would start getting familiar with it while they were still in the hospital – avoiding a last-minute flood of confusing instructions.
Apple loved it.
This summer, the tech giant invited Marvel and members of Hopkins’ Corrie Health Team including cardiologist Seth Martin, and three tech experts, Matthias Lee, Gavi Rawson, Jal Irani, and Ali Afshar, out to Cupertino, California – to Apple’s Special Projects Office, “the same building where iTunes was created,” Marvel notes – for a week of creative brainstorming and intensive development and design. “By leveraging Apple’s medical app platform, CareKit, and Apple Watch technology, we were able to reinvent inpatient heart attack recovery and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation,” Marvel reports. The collaboration between the Hopkins and Apple teams began strong and throughout the intense week, built “tremendous momentum.”
Together, “we built a truly unique app that will be a comprehensive navigator to help patients recover from a heart attack,” Marvel says. The app evolved to have five major sections:
- Activities: A comprehensive care “game plan” that ranges from keeping up with medicine to physical activity;
- Vitals: “redefines what vital signs are,” and includes mood and physical activity;
- ABCs: patient education, with high-quality articles, videos, and interactive games;
- Follow Up: organizes appointments and helps patients schedule new ones; and
- Connect: a “one-stop shop” for keeping track of critical information such as insurance, medication allergies, and blood type. It lets patients keep the care team and health resources “at their fingertips.”
But wait, there’s more! “We incorporated a ‘smart watch’ component with Apple Watches,” says Marvel. “In fact, Apple donated 200 Apple Watches for our first cohort of patients” for recovering heart attack patients.
Using both the app and the Apple watch, patients will monitor their daily steps, their heart rate, set activity goals, and get help staying on track with reminders for medication and follow-up doctor’s appointments.
“Words can’t describe our excitement,” she continues. “Apple was so impressed with our development, progress and vision that they arranged for us to meet with Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer.
He was highly complimentary of our work and plans to make a field trip over to Hopkins and see our clinical deployment of the app in person! What our team is accomplishing will be transformative.
We represented to the fullest what Hopkins is about.”
Cardiac Rehabilitation: Big Benefits With Perseverance
Linkedin Pinterest Heart Health Physical Activity for Heart Health Maintaining Heart Health
Cardiac rehab is also recommended for people who have undergone bypass surgery, angioplasty or had a stent inserted, and for those who have heart failure .
What Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Involve?
Blumenthal and other doctors typically prescribe cardiac rehab two to three times a week for 12 to 18 weeks beginning about a month after surgery or a cardiac event. (Medicare and commercial health insurance cover a total of 36 visits.) Yes, it involves exercise, but it also includes nutritional counseling and support with making other lifestyle changes.
One often overlooked advantage, notes Blumenthal: “You’re in a setting with people who have had a cardiac event and who are in a similar position as you.” That, in turn, provides psychological improvements in a way that exercising at a gym surrounded by fit twentysomethings doesn’t.
Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Work?
The simple answer is yes.
A review of 128 studies involving nearly 100,000 people who’d had a heart attack, angioplasty or heart failure found that those who participated in cardiac rehabilitation were far less ly to be hospitalized, and had much a better quality of life, than those who did not.
Other studies found lower rates of death in people who attended cardiac rehab, with the greatest benefit seen in those who attended the most sessions. Benefits also include weight loss, improved cholesterol levels, less stress and a lower risk of depression.
How to Boost Cardiac Rehabilitation Success
Unfortunately, says Blumenthal, doctors only refer about one in five eligible patients to cardiac rehab—something that can significantly slow their recovery and affect their future health.
And while doctors can prescribe cardiac rehabilitation to every eligible patient, they can’t force them to go—and most don’t.
Overall, only about half of the people referred to cardiac rehab complete the program, with women far less ly to finish than men.
Why don’t they go? “They say they’re too busy or they can’t get there because they work,” Blumenthal says. “But the vast majority of people with heart disease are retired.” Basically, he says, “They don’t understand the benefits of the program.
They’d rather take a pill.” Plus, people with heart disease probably weren’t exercising regularly before they got sick, and the lack of physical activity contributed to their condition. “It’s sometimes hard to change years of habit,” he says.
To that end, Blumenthal and Johns Hopkins colleagues are investigating ways to get patients to stick with cardiac rehab. One option: Tying it in with fitness trackers or smartphone apps that send reminders about appointments.
Even if you do complete cardiac rehab, you shouldn’t stop exercising. Studies show that while the rehab itself is beneficial, you get even more bang for your exercise buck if you continue after it ends, Blumenthal says.
“Sometimes you need more than a pill, and this is one of those times,” says Blumenthal. “The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation are equal to or better than anything you could get a pill.”
What the Experts Do
Cardiologist Roger Blumenthal, M.D., spends his days trying to convince hispatients to exercise. So what does he do when he hangs up his white coat?
“I play tennis, walk the golf course, and work out with a trainer twice aweek,” he says. He also wears a fitness tracker to make sure he gets atleast 7,500 steps a day, and preferably more than 10,000 steps most days ofthe week.