What is a Heart Failure?
In heart failure, the heart is unable to pump the right amount of blood throughout the body. This causes blood to back up in the veins. Depending on which part of the heart is affected most, this can lead to a build up of excess fluid in the lungs, feet, and elsewhere. Heart failure can worsen with time, which may lead to the use of many treatments. Because of this, doctors are aggressive in treating heart failure to try to prevent it from worsening.
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.
Why is this important?
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 appropriate
How are we doing at providing the best care for patients suffering from heart failure?
These measures show how often patients are prescribed ACE or ARBs as part of their discharge treatment plan.
This graph shows the number of eligible patients at Hartford Hospital who received an ACE or ARB as part of their discharge plan. The higher the percentage the better. The top performing hospitals across the nation are performing at 100% accuracy.
What efforts are in place to improve performance?
We monitor every opportunity to assure 100% of the eligible patients are receiving these medications when appropriate. Every case is reviewed with the appropriate team for improvements.