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About Us > Quality of Care > Disease Specific Measures > Heart Failure Measures

Heart Failure Measures

Related Items

  • Recognized by the American Heart Associated as Get with the Guidelines Gold recipient for Heart Failure care
  • Recognized by the Joint Commission disease specific certification program in Advanced Heart Failure

Heart Failure

Heart Failure is a weakening of the heart's pumping power. With heart failure, your body doesn't get enough oxygen and nutrients to meet its needs. Your heart tries to pump more blood, but the muscle walls become weaker over time.

Symptoms of heart failure may include:

  • Shortness of breath from fluid in the lungs
  • Swelling (such as in legs, ankles or abdomen)
  • Dzziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Heart Failure Quality Measures

Experts agree on four standards of care for most adults with heart failure. A team of experts in the treatment of heart failure meets regularly to improve the care we provide to our patients.The following graph shows our results from January to December 2010 for comparative hospital and PinnacleHealth data and July through December 2011 for PinnacleHealth measures.

â–ºView Data: Heart Failure Measures


Why are these measures important?

  • Heart failure is a chronic condition. It can cause 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 and prevent complications. The discharge instructions should include:
    • 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
  • 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.
  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are medicines used to treat patients with heart failure. ACE inhibitors and ARBs work by reducing the work the heart has to perform to pump blood. 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.
  • Smoking increases your risk for developing blood clots and heart disease, which can result in a heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Smoking causes your blood vessels to thicken. Fat and plaque then stick to the wall of your blood vessels, which makes it harder for blood to flow. Reduced blood flow to your heart may result in chest pain, high blood pressure, and an increased heart rate. Smoking is linked to lung disease and cancer, and can cause premature death. It is important for your health that you get information to help you quit smoking before you leave the hospital.