Are quality improvements associated with the Get With the Guidelines-Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG-CAD) program sustained over time? A longitudinal comparison of GWTG-CAD hospitals versus non-GWTG-CAD hospitals.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Previous reports have demonstrated that participation in GWTG-CAD, a national quality initiative of the American Heart Association, is associated with improved guideline adherence for patients hospitalized with CAD. We sought to establish whether these benefits from participation in GWTG-CAD were sustained over time. METHODS: We used the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database to examine 6 performance measures and one composite score for 3 consecutive 12-month periods including aspirin and beta-blocker on arrival/discharge, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) for left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), and adult smoking cessation counseling. The differences in guideline adherence between the GWTG-CAD hospitals (n = 440, 439, 429) and non-GWTG-CAD hospitals (n = 2,438, 2,268, 2,140) were evaluated for each 12-month period. A multivariate mixed-effects model was used to estimate the independent effect of GWTG-CAD over time adjusting for hospital characteristics. RESULTS: Compared with non-GWTG hospitals, the GWTG-CAD hospitals demonstrated higher guideline adherence for 6 performance measures. The largest differences existed for (1) aspirin at arrival (2.3%, 2.1%, and 1.6% for each 12-month period, respectively), (2) aspirin at discharge (3.4%, 2.2%, and 2.3%), (3) beta-blocker at arrival (3.4%, 2.9%, and 2.6%), and (4) beta-blocker at discharge (2.8%, 1.8%, and 1.5%). In multivariate analysis, the GWTG-CAD hospitals were independently associated with better adherence for 4 of the 6 measures (the exceptions were ACE-I for LVSD and smoking cessation counseling). Superior performance was also found for the composite measures. Although there was some narrowing between groups, GWTG-CAD hospitals maintained superior guideline adherence than non-GWTG-CAD hospitals for the entire 3-year period (adjusted differences 1.8%, 1.6%, and 1.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitals participating in GWTG-CAD had modestly superior acute cardiac care and secondary prevention measures performance relative to non-GWTG-CAD. These benefits of GWTG-CAD participation were sustained over time and independent of hospital characteristics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Xian, Y; Pan, W; Peterson, ED; Heidenreich, PA; Cannon, CP; Hernandez, AF; Friedman, B; Holloway, RG; Fonarow, GC; GWTG Steering Committee and Hospitals,

Published Date

  • February 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 159 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 207 - 214

PubMed ID

  • 20152218

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20152218

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6744

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8703

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.11.002


  • eng