Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a highly prevalent condition associated with serious morbidity, intense levels of health services use, and shortened survival. It is also a condition for which ameliorative therapies exist. The evidence indicates that there is substantial need to change clinical practice and health care delivery for people with CHF and thereby improve their outcomes. The goal of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative in CHF (CHF QUERI) is to create measurable, rapid, and sustainable improvements in quality of care and health outcomes of veterans with heart failure. This article describes the current state of knowledge and practice in care for people with CHF. Using the framework of the 5 steps of the QUERI process, we point out the gaps in research and practice that must be filled if the CHF QUERI is to achieve its goal. We relate our recommendations for how the VA can put its research and administrative infrastructure to work to fill the gaps. Lessons learned about CHF in the course of the CHF QUERI will be applicable to all people with heart failure and to all health care systems--VA as well as non-VA--that care for them.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catarina_kiefe/136/