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Key indicators
Substantial scientific evidence indicates that the following measures represent the best practices for the treatment of heart failure. Higher scores are better.

  • Discharge instructions
    To help heart failure patients manage the symptoms after they are discharged home from the hospital, they should receive from the hospital written instructions or educational material addressing all of the following: activity level, diet, discharge medications, follow-up appointment, weight monitoring, and what to do if symptoms worsen.
  • Evaluation of left ventricular systolic (LVS) function
    The proper treatment for heart failure depends on what area of your heart is affected. This indicator can test whether the left side of your heart is pumping properly.
  • ACE inhibitor or ARB for left ventricular systolic dysfunction
    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. Early treatment with ACE inhibitors and ARBs in patients who have heart failure symptoms or decreased heart function after a heart attack can reduce mortality from future heart attacks.
  • Smoking cessation advice/counseling
    Smoking increases the risk for developing blood clots and heart disease that can result in a heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Patients who receive even brief smoking-cessation advice from their physicians are more likely to quit.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hospital Compare