Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare Serves the Central Piedmont
Cone Health’s team approach enables the heart and vascular staff to work together seamlessly and provide nationally recognized health care.
The heart and vascular expertise found at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital isn’t confined to Greensboro. Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare, through its eight locations in the central Piedmont, offers services in many Triad communities.
Cardiologist Jake Hochrein, MD, the chief of Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare, works in Madison, North Carolina, twice a month, and his cardiovascular team staffs area facilities, including Alamance Regional Medical Center and Annie Penn Hospital and clinics in Eden, High Point and Kernersville. The dispersed locations, he says, provide patients with an important advantage.
“My patients [in Madison] don’t have to travel,” Hochrein says. “They don’t have to leave their communities for a lot of the general cardiology care and follow-up.” The office and outpatient work—things like electrocardiograms, physical exams and blood work, for example—can take place in a Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare office.
“The challenge used to be data,” Hochrein says. “But now, with electronic medical records, we log on to a computer and we have the patient’s entire medical history wherever we happen to be. That’s an incredible advance.”
The power of a heart care team
For more advanced heart and vascular procedures, such as heart surgery, Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare takes a team approach.
If, for example, one of Hochrein’s patients goes to Moses Cone Hospital needing immediate care and Hochrein isn’t there that day, one of his team members will be. Hochrein knows his team well, and they’ll communicate about the patient’s treatment through their electronic medical record.
“I know exactly what’s going on, because my partner is seeing the patient and sending me the information,” he says.
Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare works closely with the patient’s entire medical team. Patients go from their primary care provider or cardiologist to the acute care team at Moses Cone Hospital, then to office visits at Moses Cone Hospital for follow-up care before going back to their primary doctor.
“That transition of care is a relatively new thing,” Hochrein says. “It’s a really important development that helps keep people out of the hospital. And it’s one of the reasons that we are No. 1 in the nation for keeping people out of the hospital after they’ve had a heart attack.”
The importance of prevention
As important as treatment is, Hochrein’s personal passion lies with preventative care and risk reduction—an interest shared by all the doctors at Moses Cone Hospital. Eighty percent of heart attacks are preventable, Hochrein says, and the benefits of adding exercise to your lifestyle are concrete.
“We’re spending 17 percent of our gross domestic product on health care,” he says. “That’s not economically viable.”
What’s more, Hochrein says, the medical community is expecting a rise in chronic disease as a younger generation of obese patients approaches middle age. The potential health care costs could be astronomical.
“Here in Greensboro, we have this tremendous opportunity to affect the health of our community,” Hochrein says. “We have a fairly cohesive community where we could, over a decade, make a huge difference.”