Medicine is an art and a science. Luckily for the patients at Methodist Hospitals, Cardiologist Dr. Mihas Kodenchery and Nurse Practitioner Laura Rodriguez practice both.
Using a unique mixture of community medicine and the most up-to-date practices, Kodenchery, Rodriguez, and team specialize in providing care to high-risk patients.
High-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients can best be described as cardiovascular patients whose risk of complications during a procedure is higher than the norm. According to Kodenchery, there are several reasons why these complications could occur.
“There are certain situations where the risks of complications in doing the procedure are much higher,” Kodenchery said. “This could be because of age, other heart diseases, other medical problems, and sometimes morbid obesity. This then becomes what we call the high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions.”
These types of procedures are usually done at research hospitals. However, Kodenchery and Rodriguez knew that bringing this lifesaving procedure to their patients was necessary.
“High-risk PCI procedures are generally done in tertiary (specialized) care centers,” Rodriguez said. “You have to be good at these procedures, and Dr. Kodenchery is very good at everything that he does. He takes the time to go above and beyond to learn these things.”
“Methodist Hospitals is actually keeping up with the tertiary care centers,“ Rodriguez said. “Our morbidity and mortality rates are the same, if not better, than what tertiary care centers are producing.”
Providing this type of care locally is essential to getting lifesaving care to those who need it most.
“It's really important, especially in a community where resources are limited to provide this service,” Rodriguez said. “Northwest Indiana has a large at-risk population that we take care of. It can be very difficult for them to go to a tertiary care center. Sometimes it's an issue with insurance. Sometimes it's an issue with transportation, and sometimes it could be an issue with trust. We’ve developed that trust.”
Follow-up care is also a key piece to this successful work.
“We make sure that, before they go home, they have the medications available to pick up and they have the financial resources to get them,” Kodenchery said. “There are companies and programs that can help them if they're not financially able to.
Kodenchery, Rodriguez, and their team go above and beyond to make sure that patients receive the correct care after a procedure.
“I personally make sure that they have a follow-up appointment,” Rodriguez said. “I tell them how important it is to follow up with us. We also follow them closely over the first year to make sure everything is okay. We want to make sure that they're not having any adverse symptoms, We keep very close track to make sure that they have everything that they need.”
In addition to access to medication and follow-up doctor’s appointments, Methodist Hospitals offers patients a robust cardiac rehabilitation center.
Not one to keep a good thing to themselves, Kodenchery, Rodriguez, and their team are preparing to share their success with the wider medical community.
“At this point, we are maintaining a database of the patients, the procedures, and the complications we are facing,” Kodenchery said. “Then, when we have sufficient data, we’re planning to publish our findings.”
Kodenchery and Rodriguez are part of the Methodist Hospitals Heart and Vascular Institute team, and more information about Methodist Hospitals can be found on its website.