Aims: Guidelines on how to diagnose and treat patients with heart failure (HF) are published regularly. However, many patients do not fulfil the diagnostic criteria and are not treated with recommended drugs. The Swedish Heart Failure Registry (S-HFR) is an instrument which may help to optimize the handling of HF patients.
Methods and results: The S-HFR is an Internet-based registry in which participating centres (units) can record details of their HF patients directly online and transfer data from standardized forms or from computerized patient documentation. Up to December 2007, 16,117 patients from 78 units had been included in the S-HFR. Of these, 10,229 patients had been followed for at least 1 year, and 2133 deaths were recorded. Online reports from the registry showed that electrocardiograms were available for 97% of the patients. Sinus rhythm was found in 51% of patients and atrial fibrillation in 38%. Echocardiography was performed in 83% of the patients. Overall, 77% of patients were treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers, 80% were on beta-blockers, 34% on aldosterone antagonists, and 83% on diuretics.
Conclusion: The S-HFR is a valuable tool for improving the management of patients with HF, since it enables participating centres to focus on their own potential for improving diagnoses and medical treatment, through the online reports provided.