Quality of care indicators for heart attack patients

October 20, 2008

An updated set of quality of care indicators for heart attack patients, developed by a 12 member panel of experts from across Canada, reflects new evidence and practice guidelines for optimal heart attack care http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg909.pdf. These indicators -- such as drug therapies upon hospital arrival, assessment and referrals, mortality rates and others -- help to measure the quality of cardiac care and identify where heart attack care and patient outcomes can be improved. They were developed by the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team (CCORT) and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS).

Evidence that hospitals with better performance on these indicators have lower mortality rates underscores the fact that using these quality indicators can potentially save many lives. A set of previous indicators has positively impacted the Canadian health care system.

"We suggest that clinicians and hospitals, working collaboratively, use the indicators to measure their performance, assess the results and implement strategies to ensure that every patient with acute myocardial infarction gets the best possible care and outcomes," write Dr. Jack Tu from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and coauthors.
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Contact for review: Kristine Galka, ICES, 416-629-8493, kristine.galka@ices.on.ca, for Dr. Jack Tu

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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