Improving heart failure patient outcomes utilizing guideline-directed therapy
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Heart failure (HF) prevalence continues to rise and remains a significant burden to patients, caregivers, providers, and the healthcare system. Guideline-directed medical therapy with standard neurohormonal blockade has been the cornerstone of medical management for many years. Despite aggressive utilization of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, and aldosterone antagonists, HF hospitalizations and readmissions are common and residual mortality remains high. With the development of two novel medical therapies (sacubitril/valsartan and ivabradine), the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Failure Society of America released a pharmacologic update to provide guidelines for incorporation of these agents into clinical practice. Although effective via different mechanisms of action, both agents now have a prominent role in risk reduction. HF medical regimens often become quite complex, especially when associated with comorbid conditions, and require frequent follow-up. Providers must be proficient in patient monitoring, medication dose titration, and therapy optimization. Individualized patient care strategies such as guideline-directed therapy can promote long-term adherence and quality of life.