Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the United States. Approximately 94.5 billion dollars are spent on the diagnosis, treatment and procedures associated with cardiovascular illness. Approximately one-third of all these procedures are performed on patients over age 65.1 With the tremendous advances in technology, population continues to age. It is estimated that by the year 2010, one in five Americans will be over 65. The implication for the financial impact on our economy is astounding. Cardiac surgery is being closely scrutinized by consumers and third-party payors regarding costs, delivery systems, approaches and outcomes. Terms such as cost-containment, streamlining, fast-tracking, managed care, reengineering care and clinical pathways are becoming familiar to nurses involved with cardiac surgery patients. Tremendous pressures for cost-effective, quality outcomes are key factors driving the changes in the delivery of health care.
KeywordsCholesterol Fatigue Depression Ischemia Anemia
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