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C. Offering Better Care At Lower Cost

Narrator: This is Science Today. Medical centers following the federal government's Abest practice@ guidelines had better overall results in treating patients with congestive heart failure. Pat Sparacino, a clinical nurse specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, adapted these guidelines for patients at the UCSF Mt. Zion Medical Center.

Sparacino: The guidelines basically make recommendations that are based on best pharmacologic therapy, best work up. They also give recommended drugs with target doses and the coordination of the multi-disciplinary aspects of care - nursing, social work, physical therapy and nutritional support.

Narrator: Following these guidelines, Sparacino reported overall improvement in both care and cost.

Sparacino: What we saw was a decrease in length of stay, a decrease in cost of care and a decrease in readmission to the hospital at both 30 and 60 days.

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