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Proven Treatment Standards

Studies have proven which treatments are most effective for patients suffering from congestive heart failure, also referred to as CHF or heart failure. Experts agree that these treatments offer the best medical outcomes. Despite strong evidence to support these guidelines, many hospitals fail to offer the treatments.

At Deaconess, the guidelines are top priority. To ensure optimal care for you and your family members, we monitor our compliance with the following standards in CHF care. View the tables below to see how we're performing in each area.
 

Left Ventricular Function (LVF) Assessment

Recommendation - Assess left ventricular function (LVF) in patients with heart failure.
Rationale - Doctors must identify left ventricle function impairment in order to select appropriate medications to reduce morbidity and mortality.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart failure patients who had left ventricle function assessed before hospital arrival, during hospitalization, or planned for after discharge.
90%
93%
94%
 
     


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

Recommendation - Prescribe ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) Inhibitor or ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker) upon hospital discharge for patients with heart attack and impaired left ventricular function.
Rationale - ACE inhibitors or ARB are commonly prescribed for LVSD to reduce risk of morbidity and mortality. These medications stop the production of a hormone that can narrow blood vessels. This helps reduce pressure in the heart, thereby lowering blood pressure.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
Percentage of heart failure patients with left ventricle function (LVF) < 40% (and without contraindications) who were prescribed an ACE inhibitor or ARB at discharge.
90%
90%
82%
 
     


Smoking Cessation Counseling

Recommendation - Offer smoking cessation counseling to heart failure patients with a current or recent history of smoking.
Rationale - Smoking cessation reduces morbidity and mortality in all populations - those with heart failure as well as other health conditions. Patients who receive even brief smoking cessation advice are more likely to quit.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart failure patients with a current or recent history of smoking cigarettes who are given smoking cessation counseling during their hospital stay.
93%
95%
99%
 
     


Detailed Discharge Instructions

Recommendation - Offer written educational material or discharge instructions for the patient and/or caregiver. Instructions should address activity level, diet, discharge medications, follow-up appointment, weight monitoring, and what to do if symptoms worsen.
Rationale - Heart failure is a chronic health condition. Patients play a major role in controlling the disease. By following recommendations for diet, weight monitoring and other issues, patients can reduce the risks of morbidity and mortality. Patients must understand the disease and how to care for themselves to protect their health.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart failure patients who were given instructions at discharge regarding factors such as diet, weight and medication use.
79%
80%
74%