Bridging the gap between evidence and practice in acute decompensated heart failure management.

Link to article at PubMed

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Bridging the gap between evidence and practice in acute decompensated heart failure management.

J Hosp Med. 2008 Nov;3(6 Suppl):S7-15

Authors: Michota FA, Amin A

Registry data indicate a gap between evidence-based guidelines and current management of patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Bridging this gap is crucial given the frequency and cost of hospitalization for this disorder. Patients with ADHF require rapid assessment to determine appropriate treatment location and initial therapy. Patients with impending respiratory failure or cardiogenic shock should be managed in an intensive care setting, patients with congestion that is expected to require prolonged intravenous therapy should be admitted to the hospital, and patients with congestion that is likely to respond within 12-24 hours can be managed in an observation unit. Clinical status should guide selection of initial therapy. Initially, therapeutic response should be assessed every couple of hours. Once effective acute therapy has been established, it is important to implement strategies to improve long-term outcomes. These strategies include ensuring that care complies with established core performance measures, providing patient education in a manner suited to ensure comprehension and retention, and arranging for appropriate outpatient follow-up, ideally in a comprehensive heart failure disease management program. The purpose of this review is (1) to examine evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of ADHF, (2) to present a practical algorithm for patient assessment and treatment derived from these guidelines and personal experience, and (3) to discuss systems to enhance the ultimate transition of patient care from the inpatient to outpatient setting.

PMID: 19084890 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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