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Heart Failure

What are we looking to improve?
Heart failure is the inability of the body to adequately pump blood to the bodyís other organs. This failure can cause fluid to build up in the body, leading to swelling in the lower legs and ankles known as edema. Fluid also can build up in the lungs, resulting in difficulty in breathing and ultimately shortness of breath. By following Core Measures, we look to improve treatment as well as patient outcomes.

What measures/strategies have we implemented for improvement?

  • Evaluating Left Ventricular Systolic (LVS) Function: If the left chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) is not pumping blood effectively, patients can experience breathing problems.
  • Prescribing ACE/ARB for Left Ventricular Systolic (LVS) Dysfunction: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB) are medicines that have been shown to improve the heartís pumping capability. Heart-attack patients typically have better results after taking them.
  • Providing Complete Discharge Instructions: Patient education before discharge has been shown to help prevent further hospitalization and assist patients in managing symptoms.
  • Providing Smoking Cessation Counseling: Smoking is linked to heart failure, so quitting may help improve a patientís condition.

How do we score?
According to 2nd quarter data for 2012:

  • 100% of adult heart failure patients received an evaluation of their LVS function.
  • 100% of patients with LVS Dysfunction were prescribed ACEs/ARBs.
  • 100% of the time, complete discharge instructions were provided to heart failure patients for management of their condition, including taking medications.

The top 10% of hospitals scored 99% for providing complete discharge instructions, and 100% for all other Core Measures.

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