About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a common condition affecting nearly 6 million people in the United States. People with heart failure have a heart that is either stiff and not able to adequately fill with blood or it doesn't squeeze efficiently. With both scenarios, the result is a syndrome of shortness of breath, activity intolerance and fatigue. As a result it accounts for over 1 million hospitalizations each year and up to 15 million office visits. It is the most common discharge diagnosis for those over the age of 65.
Implementing Best Practice in Heart Failure Care
The success and foundation of our program is centered on establishing and implementing "best-practice" guidelines for treating patients with heart failure. This approach has increased survival rates, decreased hospital admissions, and made improvements in quality of life for heart failure patients. Best practice guidelines include:
- Measuring heart function
- Prescribing appropriate medications
- Teaching patients how to manage their heart failure at home (MAWDS)
- Encouraging smoking cessation for smokers
Heart Failure Management
Heart failure management draws from multiple areas (medications, lifestyle changes, procedures, etc.) and applies them to all components of heart failure. The goal is to make the patient's quality of life as good as it can possibly be while helping them live longer. Heart failure medications, procedures and surgeries are all valuable treatments for heart failure. Most importantly, treatment plans include frequent monitoring and assessment of heart function. This helps our team to judge the appropriate times to start different heart failure treatments.
Intermountain Heart Institute now has disease-specific certification by the Joint Commission in Advanced Heart Failure. (July 2011).