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Heart Failure

Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, is a condition where the heart is no longer able to pump blood effectively to the rest of the body.

Common symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath with activity or lying down
  • Cough
  • Swelling in ankles and feet
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular or rapid pulse


Heart Failure Quality Report Card

Percentage of heart failure patients that receive discharge instructions.

Why is this Important? Heart failure is a chronic condition. It results in symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. Before you leave the hospital, the staff at the hospital should provide you with information to help you manage the symptoms after you get home. The information should include your

·         Activity level (what you can and can't do)

·         Diet (what you should, and shouldn't eat or drink)

·         Medications

·         Follow-up appointment

·         Watching your daily weight

·         What to do if your symptoms get worse

Percentage of heart failure patients that were given and evaluation for Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD)

Why is this Important? The proper treatment for heart failure depends on what area of your heart is affected. An important test is to check how your heart is pumping, called an "evaluation of the left ventricular systolic function." It can tell your health care provider whether the left side of your heart is pumping properly. Other ways to check on how your heart is pumping include:

·         Your medical history

·         A physical examination

·        Listening to your heart sounds

·         Other tests as ordered by a physician (like an ECG (electrocardiogram), chest x-ray, blood work, and an echocardiogram)


Percentage of heart failure patients that received and ACE inhibitor and/or angiotensin receptor blocker medication for Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD) of the heart.

Why is this Important? ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are medicines used to treat patients with heart failure and are particularly beneficial in those patients with heart failure and decreased function of the left side of the heart. Early treatment with ACE inhibitors and ARBs in patients who have heart failure symptoms or decreased heart function after a heart attack can also reduce their risk of death from future heart attacks. ACE inhibitors and ARBs work by limiting the effects of a hormone that narrows blood vessels, and may thus lower blood pressure and reduce the work the heart has to perform. Since the ways in which these two kinds of drugs work are different, your doctor will decide which drug is most appropriate for you. If you have a heart attack and/or heart failure, you should get a prescription for ACE inhibitors or ARBs if you have decreased heart function before you leave the hospital.


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