What is Heart Failure?
Heart failure is a weakening of the heart’s muscle that reduces its pumping power. Your heart tries to pump more blood, but over time the heart muscle walls weaken. As a result, your body doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
Symptoms of heart failure can include shortness of breath from fluid in the lungs, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, cold and clammy skin, or rapid and irregular heartbeat. Heart failure can result from coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle damage from infection, alcohol or drugs), or an overworked heart (caused by high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, or a defect from birth).
What do the measures mean and why are they important?
These scores are displayed as percentages and show how well NJ hospitals are providing care for eligible heart failure patients. Patients with contraindications, those at higher risk of experiencing complications to any of the recommended treatments are excluded from the scores for that treatment. Higher percentages indicate better performance.
Left Ventricular Systolic
(LVS) Function Assessment
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of heart failure patients who had their LVS function evaluated before hospital arrival, during hospitalization, or had a test planned following discharge.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because an assessment of your heart’s left side, the main pumping chamber, is needed to determine how well your heart is pumping. Results help determine appropriate treatment.
ACE Inhibitor or ARB at
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of heart failure patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) prescribed an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) at discharge from the hospital.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because ACE inhibitors and ARBs are medicines that modify the effects of hormones that regulate blood pressure and influence the healing process of the heart. Since these two drugs work differently, your doctor will decide which drug is most appropriate for you.
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of patients who received written instructions or educational material at hospital discharge addressing: activity level, diet, discharge medications, follow-up appointment, weight monitoring, and instructions if symptoms worsen.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because heart failure is a chronic condition which must be managed closely to prevent repeat hospitalizations and further damage to the heart and other organs.
Smoking Cessation Advice
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of heart failure patients with a history of smoking cigarettes who received advice on how to quit smoking before hospital discharge.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because smoking increases your risk for developing blood clots and further heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, heart failure or stroke. Smoking causes blood vessels to thicken making it harder for blood to flow to the heart.
Basic Facts on Treating Heart Attacks
Basic Facts on Treating Pneumonia
Basic Facts on Surgical Care Improvement
Using Recommended Care (Process of Care) Measures
Using the Information on this Website