Module A: Prevalence and Pathophysiology

CE Credits: 2.0


This module outlines the prevalence and pathophysiology of heart failure—the inability of the heart to fill with or eject blood due to structural or functional cardiac conditions—a disease that is a growing challenge for hospitals. The exploration begins by looking at the demographics of HF, its main symptoms (such as edema and shortness of breath, related to fluid buildup and poor blood flow) and the distinct stages of heart failure. The module then examines the etiology of the disease, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and genetics, as well as causal factors such as substance abuse, sleep apnea and even cancer treatment.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Discuss general heart failure information, including the prevalence and economic impact
» Define heart failure as a symptomatic and progressive disorder
» Identify the stages of heart failure
» Describe the etiology of heart failure

Advance your professional practice:: Given the growing prevalence of heart failure, it’s vital that case managers are adept at recognizing the symptoms of and risk factors for heart failure in patients. When we understand how to intervene with patients before HF becomes advanced, we can improve patients’ quality of life and perhaps even prevent HF before it becomes a reality.


Improve organizational performance: One of the greatest (and most expensive) challenges hospitals face regarding heart failure is the high rate of readmission among HF patients. By understanding the basics of HF, we can offer more effective care for heart patients and lower the chances of their returning to the hospital with increased symptoms or new complications.