Heart disease remains the number one cause of mortality in both men and women in the United States and patients with heart failure are at high risk for hospitalization. Thirty-day readmission rates have become a benchmark for hospitals and home healthcare agency reimbursement. P
hysical exam and history taking are essential to evaluate patients with suspected or known heart disease, and to detect early symptoms of worsening heart failure. Home care clinicians have the opportunity to assess the patient in the home environment, identify significant changes in the patient’s status, and form a plan of care for effective intervention to prevent the need for emergency department care or rehospitalization. In this second article of a four-part series, the subjective and objective assessment of the cardiovascular system exam is reviewed.