Evidence-Based Heart Failure Quality Improvement Programs and Strategies for CAHs (Policy Brief #26)


This policy brief focuses on evidence-based heart failure QI programs and strategies that are applicable to CAHs, particularly with respect to MBQIP Phase 1 Measures.

Key Findings:

  • Few articles in the peer-reviewed literature evaluate the effectiveness of quality improvement (QI) programs for heart failure specifically for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).
  • The majority of articles on heart failure QI programs focus on the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines program and the CMS/Joint Commission heart failure quality measures. Multiple partners collaborated to implement these programs, including Quality Improvement Organizations, State Flex Programs, State Hospital Associations, Universities, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the American Heart Association, health systems and other state and local partners.
  • The heart failure QI programs primarily focus on: 1) providing evidence-based care to inpatients; 2) engaging patients and families as active partners; and 3) creating processes to ensure a quality handoff.
  • Several QI strategies have been shown to improve heart failure care and are potentially replicable in CAHs.


Quality Quality Improvement