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Heart Failure

The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Centers for Medicare and MedicaidServices (CMS) require accredited hospitals to collect and submit performance data so that they can review clinical trends that have a significant effect on patient outcomes. The core measure data requirement was established to allow TJC to use collected information to work with hospitals to improve patient safety and quality of care and to support performance improvement.

Listed below are the TJC instituted core measures for ensuring better outcomes for patients suffering from heart failure. Adherence to these guidelines will assist physicians to achieve positive patient outcomes and maintain compliance with TJC and CMS regulations.

1) Discharge Instructions

Heart failure patients or their caregivers should be provided with written discharge instructions or educational materials at discharge or during the hospital stay addressing all of the following:

  • activity level
  • diet
  • discharge medications
  • follow-up appointment
  • weight monitoring
  • what to do if symptoms worsen

2) LVF Assessment

Heart failure patients should undergo and be documented for left ventricular function (LVF) assessment either before arrival, during hospitalization or after discharge.

3) ACEI or ARB for LVSD

Heart failure patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) should be prescribed an ACEI or ARB at hospital discharge unless there is a contraindication to ACEI and ARB in the charts. For purposes of this measure, LVSD is defined as chart documentation of a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) less than 40% or a narrative description of left ventricular function (LVF) consistent with moderate or severe systolic dysfunction.

4) Adult Smoking Cessation Advice/Counseling

Heart failure patients with a history of smoking cigarettes must be given smoking cessation advice or counseling during hospitalization. For purposes of this measure, a smoker is defined as someone who has smoked cigarettes anytime during the year prior to hospital arrival.

If you have any questions, contact Linda Jacobs, RN, at (504) 897-8778, or at Linda.Jacobs@touro.com.



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Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
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