Heart failure discharge instructions

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. The heart continues to work, but not as efficiently as it should, which causes symptoms including fatigue, difficulty breathing and swelling in the legs and feet. It is a progressive, chronic illness that can reduce life expectancy. It is important for people with heart failure to follow instructions, such as:

  • Taking their prescribed medications
  • Knowing what to do if their heart failure symptoms worsen
  • Following a diet and activity plan

Discharge instructions should be provided to all heart failure patients when they are discharged from the hospital. A higher percent of providing discharge instructions may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of care.

About this measure

The first graph below displays the percent of heart failure patients who were given complete heart failure discharge instructions with all recommended information when they left the hospital. The second graph shows a trend over time for this measure.

Note: In this case, a higher number is better.  

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
  2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 97
National Average 94
State Average 96
Performance Trend (Percent)
  2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 94 94 94 95 95 96 97 97
National Average 91 92 92 93 93 93 94 94
State Average 92 93 94 95 95 95 96 96
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
HF-1 Heart Failure Discharge Instructions