Clinicians Adhering More to Quality Improvement Program

'Get With The Guidelines' program for coronary artery disease getting results

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that are participants in the "Get With The Guidelines" program are showing improvements in adherence over time for both men and women as well as younger and older patients, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

William R. Lewis, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues evaluate data on 237,225 patients with coronary artery disease in the hospital participating in the "Get With The Guidelines" program, and evaluated their treatment based on six quality measures, including use of aspirin, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor antagonists, and lipid lowering drugs, as well as counseling on smoking cessation and other metrics.

From 2002 to 2007, the researchers found an increase in adherence to the quality measures, from 86.5 to 97.4 percent in men and from 84.8 to 96.2 percent in women. In patients younger than the age of 75 years, there was a slight difference in adherence between men and women, and only slight differences in adherence based on the age of patients.

"These patterns differ from prior studies showing reductions in evidence-based therapy in relation to age and sex among coronary artery disease patients, and thereby suggest that clinicians may have become more adherent with guideline-based therapeutic recommendations for their older and women patients, particularly in the framework of a guideline-based performance improvement program," the authors write.

Several authors reported financial relationships with medical and pharmaceutical companies.

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