Even if you’re totally healthy, chances are high you’ll have a friend, loved one, or perhaps a patient who has to face a heart condition someday. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The best way to avoid heart trouble is to eat right, stay active, and live a healthy lifestyle. But as people get older, their risks increase. So it’s comforting to know Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s cardiac care professionals are ready to provide high-quality, lifesaving care quickly, whenever it’s needed.

Fast, Personalized Care

Getting the right care at the right time made a big difference for Kaiser Permanente member Larry Broussard. An avid golfer, he was moderately active and led a healthy lifestyle, so he assumed he had nothing to worry about.

But when even short walks started to exhaust him, Broussard called his Family Medicine physician at the

Kaiser Permanente Elk Grove Medical Offices near Sacramento. With 30 years’ experience at Kaiser Permanente, Willie Johnson, MD, immediately ordered a stress test based on Broussard’s symptoms. When the test indicated a problem, Dr. Johnson scheduled an appointment with a specialist for the next day.

During a minimally invasive procedure to figure out what was wrong, Broussard’s cardiac interventionalist, Harn-Cherng Shiue, MD, realized his arteries were so severely blocked that he needed triple bypass surgery. It was scheduled for the next morning.

Health in Record Time

Only three days passed between Broussard’s stress test and his surgery.

“With our integrated model, we were able to expedite Mr. Broussard’s care,” explained Dr. Shiue. Since everyone on Broussard’s care team — from Dr. Johnson to his cardiac surgeon — was connected to his electronic health record, referrals were easy. And his doctor and specialists were able to collaborate quickly every step of the way.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see a patient like Mr. Broussard get back to leading a full and healthy life,” said Michael Chow, MD, the cardiac surgeon who treated Broussard.

Today, Broussard shows no symptoms of heart disease and is back on the golf course.

Quality Cardiac Care throughout Northern California

The fast, high-quality cardiac care Broussard received is typical of the work of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California cardiac team. In the Sacramento area alone, the team performs more than 3,400 diagnostic and minimally invasive heart procedures a year, and more than 500 heart surgeries a year.

Thanks to the success of surgeries like Broussard’s, the Kaiser Permanente Northern California cardiac team received three stars — the top rating — for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 2015.

“What they did was amazing,” Broussard said of his care team. “But my golf game is still as bad as ever.”

Learn more about heart health on My Doctor Online. (Click on the tab “Staying Healthy” at the top of the page.)

This story first appeared in Look Inside Kaiser Permanente on May 16, 2016