Improving Patient Outcomes With Oral Heart Failure Medications

Home Healthc Now. 2016 May;34(5):242-53. doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000388.


Hospitals are under immense pressure to reduce heart failure readmissions that occur within 30 days of discharge, and to improve the quality of care for these patients. Penalties mandated by the Affordable Care Act decrease hospital reimbursement and ultimately the overall cost of caring for these patients increases if they are not well managed. Approximately 25% of patients hospitalized for heart failure are at high risk for readmission and these rates have not changed over the past decade. As a result of an aging population, the incidence of heart failure is expected to increase to one in five Americans over the age of 65. Pharmacologic management can reduce the risk of death and help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. Healthcare providers who have knowledge of heart failure medications and drug interactions and share this information with their patients contribute to improved long-term survival and physical functioning as well as fewer hospitalizations and a delay of progressive worsening of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Cardiotonic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Home Health Nursing
  • Humans
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Cardiotonic Agents