The purpose of this study is to determine if the pharmaceutical care intervention can improve the quality of life and lessen the mortality of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).
Broward General Medical Center is a 744-bed hospital with 24,000 patients admitted annually. The study population is characterized by a preponderance of minority and underserved patients, groups known to have more unmet post-hospital needs and lower levels of adequacy of care.
This longitudinal population-based study is designed to determine the impact of a CHF intervention program by comparing the 9-month period before (October 2001 through June 2002) and the 9-month period after (July 2002 through March 2003) implementation of the intervention. Clinical pharmacists will work in the CHF clinic alongside other medical clinicians and will assess the patient's pharmacotherapy regimen (prescription, OTC, herbal), and make recommendations on dosage adjustments, drug interactions, and changing medications. The clinical pharmacists will also recommend what necessary labs should be ordered, distribute pillboxes, blood pressure kits, weight scales, educational materials. In addition, the patients will be asked to complete a quality of life - SF 12 questionnaire at baseline and at three-months intervals.
Statistical methods will include both descriptive analysis and paired t-tests to compare baseline to end-of-study results of each outcome variable under 0.05 alpha level. The SF-12 physical (PCS-12) and mental (MCS-12) components summary scales will be scored using norm-based methods.
The significance of this pilot study may be profound. If the program is shown to make significant impact on patients, the pharmaceutical intervention will become an important component in the future CHF treatment. The results will be used as the foundation for a major grant request from the federal government or national foundation.