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New statement outlines essentials of heart failure clinics
Date:12/11/2008

Philadelphia, 11 December 2008 Heart failure (HF) clinics are an increasingly important approach to the treatment of patients with heart failure, yet there have been no published standards regarding the care provided by these specialized clinics. To address this gap, the Quality of Care Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) has developed a consensus statement summarizing the rationale, goals, and components of HF clinic care. The statement appears in the December issue of the Journal of Cardiac Failure (http://www.onlinejcf.com/), published by Elsevier.

Based on analysis of the best available research by an expert panel, the statement helps to define the structure and process of care provided by HF clinics. "The goals of the HF clinic are to reduce mortality and rehospitalization rates and improve quality of life for HF patients through individualized patient care," write the Committee members, led by Paul J. Hauptman, M.D., of Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

The statement defines "a family of 11 domains of care" provided by HF clinics, outlining specific components of care in each domain. For example, in the domain of Disease Management, the statement highlights the HF clinic's role in providing comprehensive education and counseling for patients and their families or caregivers, with the aim of promoting self-care.

Disease management also encompasses efforts to ensure that patients receive optimal medical therapy, appropriate follow-up, and assistance with social and financial concerns. A provider-to-patient ratio enabling individualized care and an infrastructure that allows for integration and coordination of care are also essential components of the HF clinic approach.

Other domains include Functional Status Assessment and Quality of Life Assessment. In these areas, the statement outlines essential tests and tools used to evaluate patient
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Contact: Maureen Hunter
m.hunter@elsevier.com
215-239-3671
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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