Multidisciplinary Approach to Managing Heart Failure – Health System Example

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"Multidisciplinary Approach to Managing Heart Failure" is a great example of a paper on the health system. The number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases in the United States is on the rise. Heart failure disease alone affects approximately 5 million people, including patients, family, relatives, and community networks. Further, there are 55,000 new diagnoses of the disease annually. This creates a myriad of social and financial problems among the affected people. While managing the disease is an expensive affair for families and relatives, the disease reduces its patients to dependents. This creates a financial problem among the affected people in the society.

Heart failure patients cannot look after themselves, and as such, extensively rely on others. The highest number of people diagnosed with heart failure is the old people with responsibilities. Whenever these people cannot work and rely on others for care, it creates a worse problem among society. To DeFelice et al. (2010), chronic illness consumes 82% of the health care dollars in the United States. It is thus important to implement ways and methods geared towards the management of this disease in order to reduce the costs associated with the disease.

The existence of a knowledge gap in the management of the disease with the nurses, patients, and families necessitates training of these parties on the best ways of managing the disease. This essay discusses the role nurses play in educating the caregivers, among them being family members, relatives, and other parties involved in providing care to heart failure patients in order to reduce the costs of the disease. Factors contributing to the increased costs of managing heart failure disease With the increase in the number of people suffering from heart failure diseases, there is a sequential increase in the budgetary allocations by the government to managing these diseases.

Bagheri et al (2012) point out that compared with other chronic diseases, heart failure not only causes more damage in the functional roles of individuals in social, family, and marital relationships but also professional performance as well. With an annual diagnose rate of at least 55,000 people, there is every need to seek alternative ways of reducing the costs of managing the patients.

The high number of finances involved in the management of the disease necessitates the need for developing an alternative framework for managing the disease. Despite the high number of finances involved, less than 50% of heart failure patients survive for over five years (Scherb et al. , 2011). Washburn & Hornberger (2008) describe heart failure as a social burden in the United States. The high mortality rate associated with heart failure disease decreased productivity and the high costs involved in its management, argue Washburn & Hornberger (2008) makes it necessary for various stakeholders to address the disease.

Not only does the disease constrain people financially, but patients also require constant care, which they cannot do themselves. They thus have to rely on other people for support. In addition to increasing stress levels, it pulls families into even deeper financial problems. Education as a way of reducing costs associated with the disease Nurses hold the biggest responsibility in managing patients in the United States. Whether in a hospital or recuperating at home, nurses’ expertise plays a major role in the management of patients. While they provide care for the patients in the hospital, they also follow up on the patients after discharge from the hospital.

Nonetheless, they also educate parties on the management of the disease. This makes them essential in the management of heart failure patients in the United States. It is thus important to equip them with adequate knowledge on the management of the disease both in the hospital and away from the hospital. Education on the management of the disease focuses on the six important areas for heart failure.

The nature of heart failure, prognosis, activity, dietary recommendations, medications, and compliance with the treatment plan are the main areas of focus by nurses whenever educating people on the management of the disease (Washburn & Hornberger, 2008). Focusing on these areas would successfully help in the management of the disease, reducing the costs involved in the medication, increasing the productivity of the people, and overall prolong of the patient’ s life. Nurses should stress the importance of knowing the symptoms of heart failure. By understanding the symptoms of the disease, it makes it possible to provide adequate care to the patients on a timely basis.

However, the parameters of caring for people with heart failure remain important. Weight management, which involves proper dieting, is one of the parameters that caregivers and patients themselves need to the obverse. Further, nurses should have adequate knowledge of the kind of medications required in the treatment of the disease. They pass this knowledge to the rest of the people, thus reducing instances of patients taking the wrong medication, thus worsening the disease. Nurses further recommend walking and cycling for patients with stable heart failure as ways of managing the problem and prolonging their lives (Washburn & Hornberger 2008). Patient education, focusing on self-management is an essential way of reducing the losses culminating from foregone revenue generation activities by their caregivers.

Washburn & Hornberger (2008) believe that nurses’ knowledge of disease management and patient education principles have the potential of facilitating optimum patient outcomes. Nurses start teaching patients self-management methods from within the hospitals. This is the first step to a successful program of managing heart failure disease.

DeFelice, et al. (2010) assert that the disease process, signs and symptoms of worsening heart failure, diet, and fluid restrictions, coupled with the importance of frequent checking of weight are the issues nurses teach patients to watch when hospitalized. It is the responsibility of the nurse manager to ensure that the patient receives adequate training and is in a stable condition before discharge. Although the nurse provides adequate training to the parties involved in the management of the disease, following up on the patient via phone on the day after discharge is important.

It is also important for the nurse to pay the patient frequent visits, preferably on the day after discharge and at least three times a week for two weeks after discharge (DeFelice, et al. 2010). Since most of the management of heart failure, cases take place away from nurses’ makes education important. It is important to recommend a team-based approach in the management of the disease in order to help families and patients understand and implement recommended treatment regimes. In order to achieve good results when managing the diseased, education alone is not adequate.

A multidisciplinary approach to heart failure management, which features patient education and emphasizes self-management strategies improves these results. With the benefits that this has in the management of the disease, nurses recommend it to the caregivers. Further, Scherb et al. (2011) believe that nurses intervention in patients suffering from heart failure problems focuses on equipping the family and individual patients with skills on reminiscence therapy, spiritual support, hope installation, family involvement promotion, active listening, advocacy/ health system guidance, mutual goal setting, and behavior management, among others. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach to managing the disease has a number of advantages to the stakeholders in the disease.

It reduces the frequency of hospitalization of the patient, as well as the total hospital days. Further, it leads to a significant reduction in the total costs of caring for the patient. Additionally, it improves the quality of life of the patient and promotes satisfaction. According to Bagheri et al. (2012), the ability of nurses in identifying and strengthening patient dignity has the potential of increasing a patient’ s confidence and satisfaction with the care provided, enhancement of nursing care, reduction in the length of hospitalization, and improvement of patient outcomes. Conclusion Heart failure is one of the most expensive diseases to manage in the United States.

Disease, despite taking the largest portion of budgetary allocations for chronic diseases, also takes time for the people involved in its management. Despite this, however, few, if any patients survive for a long time. With the role nurses play in caring for the sick both in hospital and at home, it is imperative to equip them with knowledge on the management of the disease.

There exists a knowledge gap in the management of the disease, especially for the caregivers; and although the patients heavily rely on these people, it is possible to take care of their health. The fact that the caregivers spend a considerable amount of time caring for these patients is the main reason why patients need to learn how to care for their health. Adopting a multidisciplinary action in the management of the disease potentially increases the productivity of the people, reduces the number of funds lost in caring for the people, and prolonging the life of the patients.


Bagheri, H., Yaghmaei, F., Ashktorab, T., & Zayeri, F. (2012). Patient dignity and its related factors in heart failure patients. Nursing Ethics, 19(3), 316-327. DOI: 0.1177/0969733011425970

DeFelice, P., Masucci, M., McLoughlin, J., Salvatore, S., Shane, M., & Wong, D. (2010). Congestive heart failure: redefining health care and nursing. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing,41(9), 390-391. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20100825-03

Scherb, C. A., Head, B. J., Maas, M. L., Swanson, E. A., Moorhead, S., Reed, D., Marks Conley, D., & Kozel, M. (2011). Most frequent nursing diagnoses, nursing interventions, and nursing-sensitive patient outcomes of hospitalized older adults with heart failure: part 1. International Journal of Nursing Terminologies and Classifications, 22(1), 13-22. DOI: 10.111/j.1744-618X.2010.01164.x

Washburn, S. C., & Hornberger, C. A. (2008). Nurse educator guidelines for the management of heart failure. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 39(6), 263-267.

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