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Top 50 Heart Hospitals Tend to Adhere to Guidelines

Study finds higher adherence rates to voluntary guidelines for treating heart attack patients

TUESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Heart hospitals named as the nation's best by the U.S. News and World Report are more likely to adhere to the voluntary treatment guidelines established by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology for treating acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to research presented recently at the American Heart Association's 7th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Washington, D.C.

William R. Lewis, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and colleagues compared adherence rates at the magazine's 50 top-ranked heart hospitals with those of 50 hospitals drawn from the database Hospital Compare, developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The researchers found that the top-ranked hospitals had a significantly higher guideline-adherence rate than did the other hospitals in terms of use of aspirin and beta-blockers on hospital admission and discharge, use of ACE inhibitor therapy and counseling on smoking cessation.

"Adherence to these guidelines saves lives and lowers mortality for men and women, and improves quality of life," Lewis said in a statement. "These parameters are important in treating heart attack patients according to the best evidence-based therapy."

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