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Managing Medication for Congestive Heart Failure Post Discharge

Patients who have congestive heart failure are at high risk of readmission to the hospital within 14 days of discharge. Medication management and adherence is a critical element for guiding patients after discharge.

Use this checklist with your patients during your post-hospital discharge visit.

  • When scheduling transition-of-care appointments, remind your patients that they should bring in all the medications they are taking.
  • Review patient discharge instructions, especially medication adjustments and changes. Make sure patients and/or their caregivers understand the instructions.
  • Review and update the patient’s current medication list.
  • Discuss any over-the-counter medications the patient takes at home.
  • Discuss any medications that should be stopped or need to be adjusted.
  • Explain all medications, especially new prescriptions, and how and when to take them properly.
  • Describe potential side effects or complications and when to seek medical attention.
  • Consider and review any recent diagnostic test results or studies that will impact the patient’s medications.
  • Provide proper contact information for the patient/caregiver to use to reach out with questions, concerns, or new medical problems.
  • Provide patient/caregiver education materials. These materials, such as guides and tips on how to keep track of medications and when/how to take them, are often helpful.
  • Social determinants often influence medication adherence; consider discussing lifestyle, economic, and social constraints.

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