Case study from Heart Failure Policy Toolkit

Nurse-led outpatient clinics

29 September, 2015

Nurse-led heart failure clinics in Sweden provide coordinated disease management. The clinics are led independently by specialist heart failure nurses, who provide rapid follow-up after hospitalisation and intensive patient education.

There are many such clinics in Sweden. In one sample study, people with heart failure received nurse-led care in a HF clinic and were followed up for 12 months.1 The first one-hour follow-up visit was scheduled two to three weeks after discharge from hospital. People with heart failure and their families received information about their condition and, if necessary, medication was optimised. The heart failure nurse also provided psychosocial care over the phone.

In case of a deterioration of the condition, people with heart failure were scheduled to visit the heart failure clinic for additional treatment.

What has it achieved?

More than two thirds of hospitals in Sweden are reported to have adopted the concept of a specialist heart failure clinic.1 One study found treatment in a nurse-led heart failure clinic reduced hospital admissions, mortality and days spent in hospital, and increased self-care among people with heart failure.1

Links, references and key reading

  1. Strömberg A, Mårtensson J, Fridlund B, et al. Nurse-led heart failure clinics improve survival and self-care behaviour in patients with heart failure. European Heart Journal 2003;24(11):1014-23.
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