State-mandated continuing medical education and the use of proven therapies in patients with an acute myocardial infarction.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether state-mandated continuing medical education (CME) requirements affect the use of evidence-based therapies and outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). BACKGROUND: The Institute of Medicine recommends that educational programs demonstrate their effect through process and outcome measures. METHODS: We analyzed 134,609 patients according to whether or not CME was mandated in the state of physician practice. A hierarchical multivariable model was developed that controlled for state, hospital, physician, and patient level characteristics to determine the association between state CME requirements and the use of evidence-based therapies. Primary outcome measures were admission aspirin use and reperfusion therapy, and discharge aspirin and beta-blocker prescription. Thirty-day and one-year mortality were secondary outcome measures. RESULTS: States with and without CME requirements had similar rates of aspirin use at admission and discharge (79.9% vs. 79.4% and 72.5% vs. 72.5%, respectively) and beta-blocker prescription at discharge (53.6% vs. 55.3%). The rate of reperfusion therapy at admission was significantly higher in states requiring CME (53.1%) compared with states without CME (47.9%) (p < 0.0001). After adjustment, patients admitted in CME-requiring states were significantly more likely to receive reperfusion therapy, mainly owing to "patented" thrombolytic therapy (odds ratio 1.15; p = 0.016). There was no association between CME requirements and one-year mortality. CONCLUSIONS: State-mandated CME had little association with AMI care or outcome, other than an increased use of patented thrombolytic therapy. Further research is needed to maximize the measurable effect of CME on the use of proven therapies irrespective of whether patented or generic medications are involved.
Patel, MR; Meine, TJ; Radeva, J; Curtis, L; Rao, SV; Schulman, KA; Jollis, JG
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