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New App Puts Cardiac Surgery Education in Patients’ Hands

For patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery at Hoag, the guidance they need is now in the palm of their hands.

Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute piloted a new app that guides patients before, during and after their surgery. The app delivers interactive, personalized education such as reminders, to-do-lists, videos and evidence-based education.

“Our team places an emphasis on answering patients’ questions thoroughly and engaging them completely in their health care journey,” said Anthony Caffarelli, M.D., the Newkirk Family Endowed Chair in Aortic Care and director of Hoag Cardiovascular Surgery and the Elaine & Robert Matranga Aortic Center. “This app complements our approach by providing the information they need, when they need it.”

Patients say the app helps them to prepare for what to expect. Meanwhile, Hoag’s medical team is finding that delivering patient education in this interactive way can help decrease hospital readmissions and increase patients’ satisfaction.

“It was nice to have the reminders right there every day. It helped gently push me through recovery, letting me know when I was supposed to walk more and it gave me exercises I could do if I was feeling tight or stiff,” said David Reuss, who used the app after undergoing mitral valve repair surgery in January. 

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