Audit of a tertiary heart failure outpatient service to assess compliance with NICE guidelines

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) updated its guidelines for chronic heart failure (HF) in 2010. This re-audit assessed interim improvement as compared with an audit in 2011. Patients with HF (preserved and reduced ejection fraction) attending a tertiary cardiac centre over a 2-year period (January 2013–December 2014) were audited. The data collected included demographics, HF aetiology, medications, clinical parameters and cardiac rehabilitation. In total, 513 patients were audited. Compared with 2011, male preponderance (71%) and age (68±14 years, (Mean ± SD)) were similar. 73% of patients lived outside of London. HF aetiologies included ischaemic heart disease (37% versus 40% in 2011), dilated cardiomyopathy (26% versus 20%) primary valve disease (13% versus 12%). For patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (n=434, 85% of patients audited) 89% were taking beta-blockers (compared with 77% in 2011), 91% an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (86% in 2011) and 56% a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (44% in 2011); 6% were prescribed ivabradine. All patients were reviewed at least 6-monthly. Although 100% of patients were educated about exercise, only 21 (4%) enrolled in a supervised exercise programme. This audit demonstrated high rates of documentation, follow-up and compliance with guideline-based medical therapies. A consistent finding was poor access to cardiac rehabilitation.

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