Case study from Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Piloting of an educational model for heart failure nurses

17 November, 2020

The Weak Heart is an educational programme for people hospitalised due to exacerbation of heart failure that is being piloted in 14 cardiology centres across Poland.1 It involves a two-day heart failure nurse training course certified by the Polish Cardiac Society (Polskie Towarzystwo Kardiologiczne) and patient education standards implemented in cardiac centres.

Once certified in heart failure patient education, the nurse meets the person twice during hospitalisation. In the first meeting, the person receives their Heart Failure Patient Passport and is educated on how to monitor symptoms, record measurements and recognise when symptoms worsen. The importance of adhering to medication and of the patient delivering a hospital discharge letter to their GP2 is stressed. During the second meeting, the person is trained in effective post-discharge self-care and informed of outpatient treatment plans. In the three-month period following discharge, the nurse conducts three 30-minute monitoring telephone calls. They assess adherence to medications, self-monitoring in the passport and attendance at outpatient appointments.

Results from this pilot are not yet available. However, it is hoped that support from a specialist heart failure nurse will improve patients’ understanding of heart failure and increase adherence to medication and recommendations for self-care. Positive results would create an opportunity to standardise heart failure patient education in Poland.


  1. Kolasa J, Uchmanowicz I, Wleklik M, et al. 2020. “The Weak Heart” as an educational model for patients hospitalised due to decompensation of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Folia cardiologica: 10.5603/FC.a2020.0014:
  2. Lelonek M. 2018. Heart failure — discharge management the crucial point in heart failure care. Folia Cardiologica 13(4): 371-77
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