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Caring for a Patient with Heart Failure: Reducing Hospitalization Risk

presented by Lisa Gorski

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial - Lisa Gorski receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. She also receives compensation for Speaking honoraria from BD, 3M, Genentech, being an Advisory Board Member for Teleflex, ivWatch, Hospira/Pfizer, and employee of Wheaton Franciscan Home Health and Hospice, Part of Ascension at Home. She also receives book royalties from FA Davis.

Non-Financial - Lisa Gorski is an Editorial Board Member, Home Healthcare Now, Chairperson, Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation and Infusion Nurses Society Standards of Practice Committee.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact support@medbridgeed.com. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
Heart failure (HF) is a common diagnosis, affecting up to about 5.7 million adults in the US. It is a leading cause for hospitalization, with an estimated annual cost to the country of $30.7 billion (CDC, 2016). Treatment of this chronic and progressive condition includes medications, reduction of dietary sodium, and daily activity. Many hospitalizations for heart failure exacerbations are preventable when contributing factors are understood, when attention is paid to early signs/symptoms, and when the focus is on patient and family self-care management. This course provides the home care clinician with an overview of heart failure, including basic pathophysiology and medical management and evidence-based recommendations aimed at prevention of rehospitalization.

Meet Your Instructor

Lisa Gorski, RN, MS, HHCNS-BC, CRNI, FAAN

Lisa Gorski MS, RN, HHCNS-BC, CRNI, FAAN, has worked for over 30 years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for Wheaton Franciscan Home Health & Hospice, now part of Ascension at Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a CNS, she has developed and oversees the home infusion therapy program, provides staff education, is involved in agency…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Pathophysiology of Heart Failure

Home care clinicians must understand the pathophysiology of heart failure in order to best comprehend heart failure treatment and to effectively educate patients and families. In this chapter, the following are addressed: the definition, categories, and stages of HF and the neurohormonal compensatory mechanisms that occur as the heart begins to fail.

2. Assessment and Heart Failure Disease Management

The importance of the home care nurse’s role in assessment and identification of HF signs and symptoms and potential HF exacerbation is emphasized. Nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions in HF management are described.

3. What are the Components of Self-Care Management

Patient and family education is essential to managing the patient with HF. While key areas for patient education will be identified in this chapter, it is important to recognize that self-care management is more than just helping patients to understand and adhere to taking medications, eating a low sodium diet, and attending to activity and exercise. To optimally manage HF and reduce the risk for hospitalization, patients must also self-monitor for signs/symptoms of exacerbation and, should they occur, effectively evaluate and manage their condition, such as implementing medication changes and/or appropriately calling the licensed prescriber. The role of telemonitoring as an aspect of self-care management is also addressed in this section.

4. Understanding Patient Barriers to Self-Care Management

To effectively intervene and help patients to self-manage their HF, barriers must be addressed in order to develop appropriate interventions. Older adults in particular may struggle to manage their disease due to other co-morbidities, frailty, and social isolation. Additional barriers to self-care management include depression, low health literacy, mild cognitive impairment, provider-interaction style, and low self-confidence in managing HF. Case scenarios will be used to highlight strategies for intervention. The learner will also be challenged to consider questions relative to his/her practice and beliefs.

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