Heart failure is one of the fastest growing cardiovascular conditions worldwide. In Canada, there are upwards of 750,000 people living with heart failure and over 100,000 Canadians are diagnosed with heart failure annually. Heart failure is a complex disease often present in concurrence with at least one other significant cardiovascular condition. As a result, the 30-day readmission rate has not changed in the past 10 years, despite advancements made in medical care, seeing 1 in 5 Canadian heart failure patients return to a hospital within 30 days of their last visit.

Approximately 2/3 of all patients admitted to the non-critical care cardiology inpatient services at the Hamilton General Hospital have a diagnosis of heart failure. With increasing admissions and length of stay, the existing model of care, which includes a staff cardiologist, cardiology resident and some off-service residents, could not adequately manage these complex patients. Furthermore, residents’ and medical students’ education was negatively impacted due to the increasing service demands. Therefore, in October 2022, a new specialized Heart Function Inpatient Unit was implemented to improve patient care, staff work satisfaction, and educational opportunities for learners, and to decrease length of stay and hospital readmissions.


The specialized Heart Function Inpatient Unit review will analyze aggregate patient level data, including length of stay and 30-day readmission rates. Staff feedback will be collected via surveys at 3- and 9-month post-implementation intervals. The overarching goal of this quality improvement initiative is to establish a safe, evidence-based, and efficient cardiology inpatient service that fosters education and optimal care for patients with heart failure.

For more information about this study, please contact CEBI by email at