An audit of adherence to heart failure guidelines in an Australian hospital: a pharmacist perspective

Viviane Khalil, Melanie Danninger, Wei Wang, Hanan Khalil

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Rationale, aims, and objectives: The Australian National Heart Foundation Guidelines have been developed to guide clinicians on how to best manage chronic heart failure (CHF) patients according to the current best available evidence. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the proportion of patients prescribed evidence-based therapy (EBT) for CHF on discharge at this Australian metropolitan hospital and factors affecting its prescribing. The secondary aims are to examine the proportion of patients prescribed EBT on discharge on cardiac wards compared to medical wards and to explore the role of the pharmacist in the management of these patients. Method: A retrospective audit of patients' medical notes who were admitted consecutively for CHF management was conducted over 6 months to examine their management. Results: The results showed at discharge, a total of 52% of patients were discharged on angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, 49% were discharged on β-blockers, 15% were on Aldosterone receptor antagonists, 90% were discharged on diuretics, and 29% were discharged on Digoxin. The main determinants of prescribing EBT on discharge were the presence of prescribing contraindications and patients' comorbidities. Patients discharged from cardiac wards were more likely to be prescribed EBT than if discharged on medical wards. Furthermore, in the subset of the cohort who was reviewed by a pharmacist during admission, a higher percentage of patients were discharged on EBT compared with those who did not have a pharmaceutical input. Conclusion: This study highlighted existing gaps between the National CHF Guidelines and clinical prescribing practice in this hospital. Patients who were discharged from cardiac wards were more likely to be prescribed medications concordant with the guidelines, and there is further opportunity for pharmacists to assist in closing gaps in prescribing practice by the promotion of adherence to these guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chronic heart failure
  • Hospital
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacological management

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