Tips to get more women into your cardiac rehab program

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, cardiac rehab programs that want to attract more women patients should take the following steps:

  • Make sure the hospital has a policy in place to identify inpatients who need cardiac rehab. All patients who have an intervention, bypass surgery, or heart attack should get a referral. Work with the cardiac care unit staff, surgeons, and cath lab staff to identify these patients.
  • Dedicate an RN from cardiac rehab to visit inpatients and start the education process before they leave the hospital. Make sure patients leave with an appointment for rehab.
  • Offer a range of group sessions and one-on-one sessions in your program.
  • Offer social support as a standard part of the program.
  • Consider single-gender classes on such topics as weight control, stress management, and nutrition.
  • Offer flexible scheduling and more exercise options such as aerobics, swimming, and walking.
  • Search for ways to increase family support.
Need More Information?
  • Veronique Roger, MD, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905. Telephone: (507) 284-0519.
  • Sharonne Hayes, MD, Director, Mayo Clinic Women’s Heart Clinic. Telephone: (507) 284-8612. E-mail: hayes.sharonne@mayo.edu.
  • Kathy Zarling, RN, MS, Cardiac Rehab Coordinator, Mayo Clinic. Telephone: (507) 255-4218. E-mail: zarling.kathleen@mayo.edu.