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Congest Heart Fail. 2011 Nov-Dec;17(6):303-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2011.00229.x. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Availability of data when heart failure patients are admitted to hospice.

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Department of Cardiology, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Silver Spring, MD, USA.


Guidelines recommend hospice care for patients with advanced heart failure (HF) who are approaching end of life. However, little is known about the data available when HF patients are admitted to hospice. This pilot study surveyed the staff from 100 hospices in the United States and Canada about how frequently data were provided to or obtained by the hospice when admitting HF patients and how important they perceived the data. The survey response rate was 66%. Overall, data were less often provided or obtained than rated important (aggregate mean difference, P<.001, r=.75). Data important to prognostication or ongoing care were provided to or readily obtained by the hospices for blood pressure (50.0%), left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) (50.0%), edema (58.3%), HF medications, symptoms of dyspnea (63.2%), chest pain (57.2%), common comorbidities, and pacemaker (69.6%) or other devices (60.0%). Approximately half of the time, hospices reported that they rarely or never received information about medication intolerance. Significant amounts of clinically valid data are not provided to or obtained by hospice providers when admitting HF patients. Investigations are needed to corroborate these findings, understand information transfer at transitions in care, and to determine the impact of admission data on hospice care for HF patients. Congest Heart Fail.

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