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Updated Performance Measures May Improve Patient Care

Ten performance measures recommended for adults with coronary artery disease, hypertension

MONDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- A series of 10 performance measures for adults may help improve the care of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension by providing treatment and controlling risk factors; the measures were published online June 13 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Joseph Drozda Jr., M.D., from the Sisters of Mercy Health System in St. Louis, and colleagues from the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the American Medical Association-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement formed a writing committee to update measures from 2005 in order to improve care for patients with CAD and hypertension. The committee reviewed clinical practice guidelines, and recommended measures focused on areas with the most potential for impact.

The investigators recommended a series of nine measures for CAD, and one for hypertension. For hypertension, blood pressure control is recommended with a target of less than 140/90 mm Hg, or treatment with at least two hypertensive medications to reach this target. This recommendation is also applicable to CAD. The other measures recommended for CAD were lipid control to reach low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of less than 100 mg/dL; symptom (angina) and activity assessment, and management; screening for tobacco use, and cessation and intervention if applicable; anti-platelet therapy; beta-blocker therapy; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin-receptor blocker therapy, if necessary; and cardiac rehabilitation patient referral.

"These measures are primarily intended for the use of individual practitioners and group practices in their efforts to improve the care of patients with hypertension and those with stable coronary disease," Drozda said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care industries.

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