Case study from Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Tools to support HF care assessment

17 November, 2020

In 2014, the ICGP and the Irish Primary Care Research Network developed HF-specific tools to support the assessment of heart failure care and clinical practice:1

  • The HF finder tool can identify people who may have heart failure but have not been formally diagnosed. It filters patients by combinations of medications and conditions. GPs can review a person’s notes to confirm whether they have an earlier heart failure diagnosis and add them to the system.
  • The HF register tool can support auditing by creating a list of people with heart failure and including some basic parameters, such as blood pressure, to help characterise the heart failure population and challenge.
  • The HF safe prescribing tool allows GPs to identify people with heart failure who may be taking medications that can exacerbate heart failure.
  • The HF audit tool provides a detailed breakdown of the population with heart failure in the IT system, allowing for comparison of care across clinics.

In addition to these tools, in 2019 the ICGP launched a sample audit for heart failure care, where it included examples of criteria suitable for inclusion in heart failure care assessment initiatives.2 Suggested criteria cover heart failure diagnosis, choice of medication, and recommendations on smoking cessation and vaccination. For each criterion, the guiding document suggests data collection tools.


  1. Gallagher J. 2014. Tools to identify heart failure patients and help you conduct an audit. [Updated 20/06/14]. Available from: [Accessed 28/05/20]
  2. Gallagher J, Collins C. 2019. Heart failure sample audit. [Updated 01/01/19]. Available from: [Accessed 14/05/20]
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The Heart Failure Policy Network is an independent, multidisciplinary platform made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca and Roche Diagnostics. The content produced by the Network is not biased toward any specific treatment or therapy. All outputs are guided and endorsed by the Network’s members. All members provide their time for free. The Network is hosted by The Health Policy Partnership .