By Jen Farley, Therapy Resource & DOR, Sea Cliff Health Care Center, Huntington Beach, CA

At Sea Cliff Health Care Center, the therapy team actively incorporates Heart Math techniques into daily treatments. Heart Math is a highly effective, multifaceted program that has had a positive impact on the majority of our patient population. Self-regulation is recognized as a key factor to assist in recovering from illness and improve functional performance. Listed below are the six steps used to implement the Heart Math system.

Step One: Get Trained

Contact Mary Spaeder or your local Resource to plan for a hands-on training experience. Generally, the train

Kristi Rosales, PTA, will be the team lead for the HeartMath program at Sea Cliff

ing is completed in an hour. Invite IDT members, EDs, cluster partners and marketers to a Lunch & Learn training. IDT member education highlights the benefits of Heart Math programming. Additional training provided by Dr. Timothy P. Culbert, M.D., is available for advanced certification. Sea Cliff has identified a PTA for completing the certification program and will be recognized as the team lead.

Step Two: Identify Your Target Resident Population

An effective treatment plan includes an evaluation and four to six treatment sessions, 30 to 45 minutes each, within two to four weeks. Collaborate with the resident and the family in setting up a consistent treatment schedule. Sea Cliff has incorporated the emWave Stress relief system with Heart Math techniques. Sea Cliff’s resident population has a broad scope of medical diagnosis. Participating residents have experienced a significant reduction in hypertension, pain, poor sleep, anxiety and depression.

Step Three: Establish Your Treatment Location

A quiet environment is recommended. Sea Cliff consolidated two work offices into one, and the benefit is now a quiet treatment room. Team members collaborated on room design, color and furnishings. Therapists initiated and purchased a pre-owned, low-cost high-low mat. Extra seating is available for family members to attend the treatment sessions.

Step Four: Provide Consistent Follow-Through

Follow-through is both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity for therapists as they work to achieve successful treatment outcomes. Scheduling treatment times in a quiet environment enhances the resident’s experience. It is important for the DOR to review the treatment goals and progress.  Residents, caregivers and family members appreciate the opportunity to participate.

Step Five: Get Reimbursement

At Sea Cliff, we include billing under Therapeutic Activities or Self Care. For example, charting may include “Heart Variability training to address SOB, fatigue and low endurance to increase activity or ADL tolerance.” Therapists will want to write a specific goal. Documentation should focus on how the use of Heart Math Variability training can increase focus and decrease anxious behaviors to increase safety and participation in self-care and therapeutic activities.

Step Six: Have Fun!

Share your success stories at the Annual Therapy Meeting, the quarterly DOR Meetings and the Monthly Cluster Meetings. Other pathways to highlight this unique program include marketing events, facility tours, IDT care plan meetings and community outreach. When Therapy has fun, everyone has fun!