Heart failure outcomes vary by admission ward

Heart failure patients are more likely to die if they are admitted to a general ward, rather than a specialist cardiology ward, an audit has shown.

Almost 50% of patients admitted to hospital with heart failure were managed on cardiology wards, the audit of heart failure treatment in England and Wales found. These patients had a mortality of approximately 5% compared with 15% in those managed on general medicine wards.

Patients admitted to general medicine wards were also more likely to die than those treated on cardiology wards.

Data were collected from 6,170 patients admitted to 86 hospitals over 12 months. Patients discharged from cardiology wards were found to have better access to specialist follow up care.

The researchers said the findings demonstrated that specialist care in hospital and subsequent to discharge is associated with better outcomes. They commented: 'hopefully, future iterations of this audit will demonstrate sustained improvement in the quality of care, resulting in improved survival.'

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