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A.The Best Practice for Heart Patients

Narrator: This is Science Today. Heart patients do better at medical centers which follow the federal Abest practice@ guidelines for congestive heart failure. Pat Sparacino, a clinical nurse specialist at the University of California, San Francisco says these guidelines were developed by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Sparacino: These guidelines are recommendations about symptom recognition, symptom management and the incorporation of exercise, importance of taking drugs, the importance of low salt containing foods to basically be able to best manage their congestive heart failure.

Narrator: By following these guidelines, hospital readmission rates dropped and there was also a decrease in cost and the patient's length of stay.

Sparacino: It also gives them some ownership of their disease management. It becomes a true partnership, that it isn't just the care providers, it's the care provider and the patient and hopefully patient's family.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.