ACE Inhibitor or ARB for LVSD
The Reading Hospital percentages displayed in this graph reflect discharges during second quarter 2011. State and national rates from the US Department of Health & Human Services are for discharges between October 2009 and September 2010.
Why is this important?
ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are medicines used to treat patients with heart failure and are particularly beneficial in those patients with heart failure and decreased function of the left side of the heart. Early treatment with ACE inhibitors and ARBs in patients who have heart failure symptoms or decreased heart function after a heart attack can also reduce their risk of death from future heart attacks. ACE inhibitors and ARBs work by limiting the effects of a hormone that narrows blood vessels, and may thus lower blood pressure and reduce the work the heart has to perform. Since the ways in which these two kinds of drugs work are different, your doctor will decide which drug is most appropriate for you. If you have a heart attack and/or heart failure, you should get a prescription for ACE inhibitors or ARBs if you have decreased heart function before you leave the Hospital.
Our approach to improving performance:
All of our nursing staff recently attended Heart's Alive, a one-day course which outlined the Heart Failure Program at The Reading Hospital. We have also established a dedicated Heart Failure Unit on N2 South.
We provide ongoing physician and staff education about the need for an ACE or ARB, as well as the reasons why this treatment may not be appropriate for some patients. Our team also developed a patient education booklet with important information about ACE and ARB.