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Hospital Adherence To Guidelines Improves Heart Patient Outcome

Acute coronary syndrome patients less likely to die in hospitals with higher guideline adherence

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute coronary syndrome are less likely to die if they receive care at a hospital with higher adherence to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association treatment guidelines, according to a study published in the April 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Eric D. Peterson, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues collected information from 350 hospitals and 64,775 patients to assess adherence and outcomes.

Overall adherence was 74 percent, but composite adherence scores varied from 82 percent (highest quartile) to 63 percent (lowest quartile). In the highest quartile, in-hospital death rates were 4.15 percent, compared to 6.31 percent in the lowest quartile. After adjusting for risk, the researchers found that every 10 percent increase in composite adherence was associated with a 10 percent decrease in the likelihood of in-hospital death.

"Quality of care has been defined as 'the degree to which health service for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge,'" the authors state. "Our work supports the central hypothesis of hospital quality improvement; namely, better adherence with evidence-based care practices will result in better outcomes for patients who are treated."

The study was funded in part by the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals Partnership and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

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