California's Premiere Dedicated Inpatient Advanced Heart Failure Unit

Michele Hamilton, MD, and Jon Kobashigawa, MD, review patient records. Under their leadership, the Advanced Heart Failure Unit provides individually tailored therapy.

In August 2010, the Smidt Heart Institute opened a dedicated inpatient advanced heart failure unit under the direction of Michele Hamilton, MD. Driven by a team approach, this sophisticated unit provides hospitalized heart failure patients with highly coordinated, interdisciplinary care focused on enhancing quality of life and reducing future hospitalizations.

The unit provides individually tailored therapy, including state-of-the-art medications, innovative technologies and intensive heart-health education. It has 32 dedicated inpatient beds, many of which provide real-time monitoring of blood movement and blood pressure (known as continuous hemodynamic monitoring). This technology enables Cedars-Sinai to optimize heart failure management moment by moment.

The medical team coordinates daily with a dedicated group of pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists and social workers to provide specialized care.

As part of the Heart Failure Program, the inpatient unit offers access to clinical trials of promising new treatments, including stem cell therapy. Many patients in the program are considered for mechanical circulatory support, such as ventricular assist devices and the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, as well as for heart transplantation.

In 2014, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Transplant Program's 122 adult heart transplants set the American record for most adult heart transplants performed in a single year, contributing to the Heart Institute's reputation as a world leader in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.