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Evidence to Improve Care

Heart Failure

Care in the Community for Adults

Quality standards are sets of concise statements designed to help health care professionals easily and quickly know what care to provide, based on the best evidence.

See below for a summary of the quality standard or download it for more detailed statements.

Download the Quality Standard

Quality Statement 1: Diagnosing Heart Failure
People suspected to have heart failure undergo an initial evaluation that includes, at minimum, a medical history, a physical examination, initial laboratory investigations, an electrocardiogram, and a chest x-ray. If appropriate, natriuretic peptide levels are tested to help formulate a diagnosis. If heart failure is confirmed or suspected after these tests, an echocardiogram is then performed.

Quality Statement 2: Individualized, Person-Centred, Comprehensive Care Plan
People with heart failure and their caregivers collaborate with their care providers to develop an individualized, person-centred, comprehensive care plan. The care plan is reviewed at least every 6 months, and sooner if there is a significant change. It is made readily available to all members of the person’s care team, including the person and their caregiver(s).

Quality Statement 3: Empowering and Supporting People With Heart Failure to Develop Self-Management Skills
People with heart failure and their caregiver(s) collaborate with their care providers to create a tailored self-management program with the goal of enhancing their skills and confidence so that they can be actively involved in their own care.

Quality Statement 4: Physical Activity and Exercise
People with heart failure are informed of the benefits of daily physical activity and offered a personalized, exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program.

Quality Statement 5: Quadruple Therapy for People With Heart Failure Who Have a Reduced Ejection Fraction
People with heart failure who have a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II to IV symptoms are offered pharmacological management with “quadruple therapy.” They may require additional medications and are prescribed these as needed.

Quality Statement 6: Worsening Symptoms of Heart Failure
People with heart failure who report gradual, progressive, worsening symptoms are assessed by a care provider and have their medications adjusted (if needed) within 48 hours.

Quality Statement 7: Management of Non-cardiac Comorbidities
People with heart failure are treated for non-cardiac comorbidities that are likely to affect their heart failure management.

Quality Statement 8: Specialized Multidisciplinary Care
People with newly diagnosed heart failure, those who have recently been hospitalized or treated in the emergency department for heart failure, and those with advanced heart failure (NYHA III–IV) are offered a referral to specialized multidisciplinary care for heart failure.

Quality Statement 9: Transition From Hospital to Community
People hospitalized or treated in the emergency department for heart failure receive a follow-up appointment to reassess volume status and medication reconciliation with a member of their community health care team within 7 days of leaving the hospital.

Quality Statement 10: Palliative Care and Heart Failure
People with heart failure and their families have their palliative care needs identified early and are offered support to address their needs.

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