Clinical case study

Heart failure: Supporting patients in the community

This course has been reviewed and it has been determined that it should be discontinued as the content is not current. Enrolments will close on 17 June 2024 and you will need to complete the course by 30 June 2024. Your completion certificates will continue to be available.

How can you support two different patients with heart failure who present to your pharmacy to achieve the best possible health outcomes?

  • Cost: free


The NPS MedicineWise program on heart failure has been developed in collaboration with the National Heart Foundation of Australia.




Self-recorded CPD

It is recommended that 2 CPD hours be recorded for the purposes of self-directed CPD.



In this case study you will meet Frederick and Iris.

Frederick is a 63-year-old regular customer who you notice is more breathless than usual.

What are the signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors for heart failure that pharmacists might recognise in their patients and how can you facilitate early diagnosis?

Iris is a 78-year-old who presents at your pharmacy with her daughter to have prescriptions dispensed. She has just seen her GP 7 days after discharge from hospital and has previously been diagnosed with heart failure.

What would be the appropriate pharmacological management for Iris?

What counselling, self-management and multidisciplinary care could you recommend?

Complete this online case study and receive instant feedback on your responses, compare your approach with your peers and read expert commentary provided by Professor Andrea Driscoll, Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner, Austin Health, Melbourne, and Professor Ralph Audehm, Melbourne GP and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne. Both are co-authors of the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Heart Failure Guidelines 2018. Additional expert commentary is provided by Brooke Atkins and Natalie Walton from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.


Learning outcomes

On completion of this activity you should be able to:

  • Identify common symptoms and signs where heart failure may be suspected and refer patients to their GPs to facilitate early diagnosis
  • Explain the different management approaches for heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction LVEF (HFrEF) and heart failure with preserved LVEF (HFpEF)
  • Describe the use of guideline-recommended medicines to reduce hospitalisation and improve survival for patients with HFrEF
  • Identify and recommend deprescribing medicines which can worsen heart failure
  • Describe how pharmacists can improve outcomes for patients with heart failure through patient education and referral to support services as needed