Cardiac Rehabilitation

Inpatient Rehabilitation

During their hospital stay, University of Mississippi Medical Center patients with heart-related conditions receive specialized instruction and exercise assessments. Phase I includes disease education and exercise assessment, and pre-phase II, unique to UMMC, teaches patients what to expect from exercise by putting them through the regimen while they’re still at the hospital. Phase II integrates outpatient rehabilitation, while Phase III rehab focuses on long-term, maintenance-type progress.


  • Disease education
  • Diet, exercise and lifestyle modification
  • Medication management
  • Support services for patient and family

Inpatient goals

University Heart’s cardiac rehabilitation department incorporates a three-phase program with the goal to increase and enhance the patient’s physical ability while decreasing anxiety and increasing self-care and sufficiency. During their hospital stay, patients will progress in their functional ability (from sitting to standing and walking) and learn how to perform cardiac rehabilitative exercises as they are educated about heart disease and cardiac disease process, recovery and rehabilitation. The care continuum is available to any hospitalized adult or pediatric patient with heart-related conditions or complications.

  • Phase I starts with the first interaction between the patient and the specially trained cardiac rehab care team with EKG qualifications and advanced cardiac life support certification. It begins with explanations about the disease or medical condition affecting the heart and how to best impact recovery through rehabilitation, exercise, diet and other interventions.
  • Pre-phase II, the only offering of its type in the region, is a progression when the patient is able to perform Phase I activities without problems or complications. This phase may start as early as day 2 in the patient’s stay.
  • Phase II is outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, including continued education, exercise prescription and exercise.
  • Phase III covers the long-term or maintenance aspect of the program.

Day-to-day goals

The following is what University Heart’s inpatient cardiac rehabilitation patients can expect if his physician consults or orders cardiac rehabilitation during hospitalization.

Day 1

  • The staff evaluates the patient’s physical status, including heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and body mass index (BMI).
  • The patient, coach and others involved with home care are educated regarding heart disease process.
  • The patient, coach and others involved with home care learn about dietary modifications (low sodium and/or low fat diet) if needed.
  • The patient, coach and others involved with home care are taught how to measure pulse rates via radial and/or carotid artery.
  • The patient, coach and others involved with home care are taught how to do exercises beneficial to the patient’s recovery.
  • The patient’s psychosocial status is evaluation, and a referral to a social worker will be made if the patient is experiencing moderate to severe anxiety or depression.

Day 2

  • The patient’s physical status is assessed (continuous assessment).
  • Teaching continues with return demonstrations of the patient accessing his or her pulse before and after exercise, while the staff monitors other vital signs.
  • The patient performs exercises twice a day during stay at hospital, including:
    • Deep breathing exercises
    • Shoulder shrugs
    • Bicep exercises
    • Imaginary rope climbing
    • Elbow circulars
    • Knee raises
    • Abdominal exercises
    • Walking for at least 2 minutes
  • The patient receives continued education (disease, diet and rehabilitation).
  • The patient receives instruction and performs additional exercises as he or she is monitored (exercise prescriptions as ordered by care provider) by an exercise physiologist.

Day 3

  • The patient’s physical status is assessed.
  • The patient receives detailed exercise instruction stressing the need for continued exercise three days a week for 30 minutes during each exercise session.
  • The patient will demonstrate ability to perform stair test.
  • The patient receives outpatient referral for continued recovery after his or her discharge from the hospital.