Managing patients with heart failure presents a significant challenge for GPs. Hospitalisation will sometimes be necessary for stabilisation, despite optimal medical therapy and lifestyle measures.
- An admission with decompensated heart failure typically has a poor prognosis.
- There is scope for improvement in the management of these patients, both from an inpatient optimisation point of view and in the ambulatory setting.
- Achieving and maintaining euvolaemia is an essential aspect of preventing rehospitalisation and reducing the symptom burden of heart failure.
- Early follow up (within one week) with the patient’s GP is an effective means of reinforcing these measures and preventing repeat hospitalisations.