Treatment Considerations and the Role of the Clinical Pharmacist Throughout Transitions of Care for Patients With Acute Heart Failure

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Abstract

Heart failure is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality, resulting in substantial health-care costs. Clinical pharmacists have an opportunity to reduce health-care costs and improve disease management as patients transition from inpatient to outpatient care by leading interventions to develop patient care plans, educate patients and clinicians, prevent adverse drug reactions, reconcile medications, monitor drug levels, and improve medication access and adherence. Through these methods, clinical pharmacists are able to reduce rates of hospitalization, readmission, and mortality. In addition, care by clinical pharmacists can improve dosing levels and adherence to guideline-directed therapies. A greater benefit in patient management occurs when clinical pharmacists collaborate with other members of the health-care team, emphasizing the importance of heart failure treatment by a multidisciplinary health-care team. Education is a key area in which clinical pharmacists can improve care of patients with heart failure and should not be limited to patients. Clinical pharmacists should provide education to all members of the health-care team and introduce them to new therapies that may further improve the management of heart failure. The objective of this review is to detail the numerous opportunities that clinical pharmacists have to improve the management of heart failure and reduce health-care costs as part of a multidisciplinary health-care team.

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