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  1. Lyons, Margaret G. DNP, RN, CRNI
  2. Carey, Lawrence PharmD


This article provides an evidence-based overview of heart failure (HF), including its pathogenesis, staging, assessment, prognosis, and treatment with intravenous inotropic medications in the home. Inotropic infusions in the home setting require advanced care planning, symptom management, and knowledge about ambulatory pumps and devices. These medications can be safely used throughout the continuum of care as pediatric/adult bridges from transplant to hospice care. Nurses who recognize advanced HF symptomatology and use prognostic/risk-stratification models will be better prepared to facilitate this advanced care planning, thus supporting optimal treatment outcomes. The ultimate goal of care for heart failure therapy in the home is to integrate pharmacotherapeutic knowledge of treatment advances with comfort measures and to provide them to patients concurrently and in a seamless process.