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Congestive Heart Failure


Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition in which the heart’s function as a pump is inadequate to meet the body’s requirements. Because the ‘pump’ is failing, it can cause blood to “back up,” which results in congestion. Congestion leads to fluid build up in the lungs and other body tissues.

The goal in treating heart failure is to understand the level of ‘pump failure’ through certain tests, and then to treat the condition using drugs that are very effective in assisting the heart to pump better. Another treatment goal is make sure patients eat a healthy diet, which will reduce fluid buildup in the body’s tissues. We also try to ensure you will be well educated around the signs and symptoms of congestion. Graphical data is of January 2014.

Patients Given Discharge Instructions

What this means: The percentage of patients that receive the patient education booklet and instructions about heart failure management at the time of discharge from the hospital.
Why this is important:

Why this is important: Heart failure is a chronic condition that can result in different symptoms such as shortness of breath , dizziness and water weight gain. Before discharge, the staff at the hospital should provide you with education materials to help you manage these potential symptoms. When these symptoms are not well controlled, CHF can worsen and lead to other serious complications. 

Evaluation of Left Ventricular Systolic (LVS) Function

What this means: This measure shows the percentage of patients given an LVF assessment.

Why this is important: The proper treatment for heart failure must account for what area of your heart is affected. With heart failure, the pumping mechanism is affected and an important test to assess the pumping ability of your heart is the ‘left ventricular function assessment’. The results of this test will tell your provider how well your heart is pumping and assist with determining your best course of treatment.

ACE Inhibitor or ARB Prescribed for Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD)

What this means: ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are medicines used in heart attack, high blood pressure and heart failure treatments. They are also frequently used for a condition called ‘systolic dysfunction,’ which is a decrease in the function of the left side of the heart. This measure shows the percentage of heart attack patients prescribed these drugs at discharge from hospital. Heart attack patients are prescribed this medicine to help improve the pumping of the heart.

Why this is important: Patients who have had heart attacks can have better results if they take this medicine, thereby reducing the possibility of recurrence.

 

  Footnote 1: The number of cases is too small to reliably tell how well a hospital is performing.

Data collected by Hospital Compare