Cardiac Device Monitoring
Heart Consultants offers complete and up to date device follow-up for all types of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs). Our trained Pacemaker/ICD Clinic staff work directly with all three of our Electrophysiology (EP) physicians to coordinate patient care. These EP doctors are specially trained and board certified in Electrophysiology, which is the cardiology specialty that focuses on heart rhythms, pacemakers, and ICDs. Together, we use a combination of in-clinic visits and home monitoring to offer Cardiac Device follow-up that is convenient for the patient and still holds to the highest standards of safety. Heart Consultants is dedicated to providing the best care possible using all the latest technology while still maintaining personal contact with all of our patients.
Patients with a newly implanted pacemaker or ICD:
- 1 to 2 weeks after implant, the patient returns for an in-clinic incision site check by the implanting physician and a full device check. At that time, device teaching is done, all questions are answered, and remote home monitoring is discussed and set up.
- 3 months after implant, an in-clinic full device check is performed. Final post-op programming adjustments are made to the device.
- Thereafter, every 3 months a remote home transmission is sent. When possible, transmissions are sent automatically from a wireless bedside transmitter. Wireless transmissions can also be sent if the pacemaker or ICD detects a problem or a sustained arrhythmia. Patients are contacted with results after all transmissions.
- Yearly, the patient returns to the clinic for a full pacemaker/ICD check.
Patients with existing pacemaker or ICDs:
- Every 3 months a device check is performed. Depending on the age and model of the pacemaker or ICD, this is typically done by transtelephonic transmission or remote transmission, but if the device model or patient situation does not allow for home monitoring, these 3 month checks can instead be routinely done in the clinic.
- Yearly in-clinic testing is performed on all pacemakers and ICDs. This allows us to perform certain tests that cannot be done from home and to make any necessary pacemaker/ICD programming adjustments.
- As a pacemaker or ICD approaches low battery status, device checks will be increased in frequency to every 4 to 6 weeks as needed.
Quality of Care
The Pacemaker/ICD staff members that perform the device checks review all findings with the EP physicians. Regular cardiac device follow-up insures not only proper device function, but allows us to monitor the occurrence and amount of any recorded arrhythmias. For those patients who have an ICD with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), device follow-up also plays a key role in heart failure management. Our use of wireless home remote monitoring provides a higher level of confidence for our patients, knowing that we automatically receive notice of potential problems without waiting for a scheduled check. We contact all patients by phone with the results of their home monitor transmissions. In the event of an abnormal transmission, if the physician determines it needs to be addressed, the patient is contacted and further in-clinic testing can be performed as needed.
Above all, we encourage our patients to call with any questions or concerns they have regarding their pacemaker or ICD. We recognize that using the latest technology is essential for improving patient safety and outcomes, but technology can never replace the personal relationships we build with our patients.
For any questions regarding the Heart Consultants Pacemaker/ICD Clinic or our cardiac device follow-up service, please call (402) 391-7191.