Patient with Cardiogenic Shock and Heart Failure Receives Award-Winning Care
February 06, 2023
Brian Pentsa, a generally healthy 46-year-old husband and father of three, woke up one night with shortness of breath. This symptom quickly spiraled into a life-threatening cardiac emergency. Pentsa knew he had atrial fibrillation (AFib), but it hadn’t previously materialized into anything that needed urgent treatment. Now, his AFib had led to cardiogenic shock and heart failure.
Pentsa was stabilized and monitored at the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
“During the week we were in the CICU, we were so well taken care of,” said Pentsa, referring to himself and also his wife Adrienne, who never left his side. “The doctors and nurses constantly checked to ensure I was comfortable. I never felt neglected or forgotten, even when the unit was busy. They went above and beyond to make sure we understood the different medications and the best plan forward. Everyone was approachable and kind and had good communication which we so much appreciated. It made it easier for me to relax and heal.”
The Edna & Thomas F. Zenty Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UH Cleveland Medical Center has received recognition for its excellence in professional practice, as well as providing the highest level of patient care and optimal outcomes.
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) bestows the gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence to hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve results that affect both patients and families. As of January 2023, the CICU at UH Cleveland Medical Center is the only cardiac intensive care unit with this gold designation in the state of Ohio. Gold-level is the highest status offered by AACN.
The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies an effective and systematic approach to policies, procedures and processes that include:
- Engagement of staff and key stakeholders
- Fact-based evaluation strategies for continuous process improvement
- Performance measures that meet or exceed relevant benchmarks
UH Cleveland Medical Center’s CICU earned a gold award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:
- Leadership structures and systems
- Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
- Effective communication, knowledge management, and learning and development
- Evidence-based practice and processes
- Outcome measurement
“Being designated as a Beacon unit underscores our team’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care,” said Stephen Dropcho, nurse manager of the CICU at UH Cleveland Medical Center. “Recognition with an award is an honor, and our whole team is proud of setting such a high standard, but as caregivers, we provide the best care because it’s our passion and the right thing to do for our patients.”
“I do feel like I received award-winning care during my stay at UH,” said Pentsa.
“We want all of our patients to have as positive an experience as Mr. Pentsa,” said cardiologist Michael Zacharias, DO, associate clinical chief of cardiovascular medicine at UH Cleveland Medical Center and medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. “With this designation, patients who need us can trust they are receiving the highest quality care delivered with compassion.”
Pentsa was released from the hospital and spent the 2022 holiday season at home with his family feeling generally well. Two months after his initial CICU stay, Pentsa underwent an ablation to address his AFib and is expected to make a full recovery. He looks forward to returning to coaching at his kids’ sporting events.