Home Visits and Heart Failure


Anchor lead: Sending
a nurse to a person’s home helps manage heart failure, Elizabeth Tracey reports

People with heart failure often contend with complicated
self-care plans and are at high risk for repeated hospitalizations. Now a new
study shows that sending a nurse to the home of a patient with heart failure
improves both quality of life and the need for rehospitalization. Patricia
Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, isn’t surprised.

Davidson: The first randomized controlled trial of
home-based visiting of people with heart failure was published in 1999. The
vast majority did not continue into usual care. I commend those authors for
continuing to demonstrate the evidence. We often hear this term it takes 17
years to get an innovation into usual care. It’s kind of heartbreaking because
if you think of the money that has been wasted, the suffering that has been
incurred because of what could be just a nurse going to the home.  :32

Davidson says such programs are gaining traction, and people
with heart failure should ask about them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth