Preliminary Care Coordination Plan for Heart Disease

Cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and heart failure pose a global health problem by increasing mortality, disability-adjusted life, lengthy hospitalization, increased care cost, and dependency on pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic rehabilitative interventions. According to Jeemon et al. (2021), about 9.1 million people die annually due to coronary heart disease. Further, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) contribute to approximately 180 million disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs). While heart disease inflicts a burden on individuals, families, and health systems, preliminary care coordination planning is essential for addressing risk factors for CVDs, collaborating with patients to implement evidence-based preventive and management approaches, and linking patients to community resources for improving the health and well-being.

Heart Disease as a Health Concern

Undoubtedly, cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and heart failure are the leading causes of preventable deaths and other adverse consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2022), one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. Approximately 659000 people in the US die from heart disease every year, representing one in every four deaths. Further, the CDC (2022) indicates that heart disease inflicts a financial burden of about $363 billion from 2016 to 2017. The increased costs burden accounts for healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity due to death. Although each cardiovascular disease has a varying prevalence rate, it is essential to promote preventive behaviors and interventions by understanding their causative and contributing factors.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Best Practices

High blood pressure, increased blood cholesterol, and cigarette smoking are the primary risk factors for heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2021), about half of people in the United States have at least one of these causative factors. An unhealthy diet, overweight and obesity, and physical inactivity exacerbate the situation by contributing to increased blood cholesterol and unhealthy fat accumulation. Besides these factors, diabetes and excessive alcohol use contribute to heart disease. Knowing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) enables healthcare professionals to coordinate care with patients and other care providers and improve patients’ quality of life.

It is possible to prevent and reduce CVDs prevalence by implementing multiple evidence-based practices, including physical activity, education about healthy living, and counseling people about stress management interventions (CDC, 2021). Further, Mayo Clinic (2022) supports the application of tobacco use and smoking cessation programs, setting targets for daily physical activity, incorporating heart-healthy diet plans, stress management, and good sleeping patterns as ideal strategies for preventing heart disease. Notably, the effectiveness of these interventions depends massively on interdisciplinary collaboration between healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to eliminate points of uncertainty and underlying perceptions that compromise preventive behaviors.

Underlying Assumptions and Points of Uncertainty

Although non-pharmacologic interventions for preventing and managing heart disease present evidence-based alternatives, the target population may compromise their effectiveness by upholding unhealthy perceptions. Examples of these perceptions include the belief that smoking cessation may harm the body, the perception of fear towards physical activities, and uncertainties surrounding access to healthy foods. Healthcare professionals should address these perceptions by involving patients in collaborative decisions regarding care plans.

Specific Goals Established to Address Heart Disease

It is essential to set achievable, measurable, and specific when developing a preliminary care plan for patients with heart disease. In this sense, proper planning is profound in eliminating points of uncertainty and addressing underlying perceptions that compromise preventive behaviors. The specific goals established for this preliminary care plan include:

  • Involving patients in at least 20-30 minutes of daily physical activity, including jogging and walking at a brisk pace.
  • Interacting with patients through weekly educational sessions regarding healthy diet plans
  • Counseling patients and enhancing their awareness of stress management interventions such as relaxation exercises or meditation
  • Motivating patient to quitting smoking and tobacco use by setting goals and providing alternatives cues such as chewing gums and patches.

Community Resources

Patients with cardiovascular diseases can access free diagnostic services from community healthcare organizations. Also, they can access free information regarding CVD management and prevention available in proximal health institutions. Alternatively, national organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Health Association (AHA), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provide accessible and credible information regarding self-care interventions for preventing and managing heart disease. These organizations provide opportunities for patients to develop plans for physical activity and healthy diets. Also, they allow people to plan for smoking cessation programs by providing online challenges and initiatives.


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) pose a health and economic concern by resulting in mortalities, increased care costs, disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs), and compromised quality of life. The risk factors for CVDs are obesity and overweight, cigarette smoking and tobacco use, alcoholism, unhealthy diet, diabetes, and physical inactivity. As a result, the knowledge of causative and contributing factors enable patients and healthcare professionals to implement evidence-based practices such as stress management, healthy diet plans, and physical activities. A preliminary care coordination plan is essential for allowing collaboration between healthcare professionals and patients to address barriers to preventive behaviors. Also, the plan links patients with available community resources for bolstering people’s knowledge and providing information regarding evidence-based practices for preventing and managing CVDs.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 27). About heart disease. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, February 7). Heart disease facts. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from

Jeemon, P., Harikrishnan, S., Ganapathi, S., Sivasankaran, S., Binukumar, B., Padmanabhan, S., Tandon, N., & Prabhakaran, D. (2021). Efficacy of a family-based cardiovascular risk reduction intervention in individuals with a family history of premature coronary heart disease in India (prolific): An open-label, single-center, Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. The Lancet Global Health, 9(10), e1442–e1450.

Mayo Clinic. (2022, January 14). Top strategies to prevent heart disease. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from

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