Improving evidence-based care for heart failure in outpatient cardiology practices: primary results of the Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence-Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting (IMPROVE HF).
BACKGROUND: A treatment gap exists between heart failure (HF) guidelines and the clinical care of patients. The Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence-Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting (IMPROVE HF) prospectively tested a multidimensional practice-specific performance improvement intervention on the use of guideline-recommended therapies for HF in outpatient cardiology practices. METHODS AND RESULTS: Performance data were collected in a random sample of HF patients from 167 US outpatient cardiology practices at baseline, longitudinally after intervention at 12 and 24 months, and in single-point-in-time patient cohorts at 6 and 18 months. Participants included 34 810 patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (< or =35%) and chronic HF or previous myocardial infarction. To quantify guideline adherence, 7 quality measures were assessed. Interventions included clinical decision support tools, structured improvement strategies, and chart audits with feedback. The performance improvement intervention resulted in significant improvements in 5 of 7 quality measures at the 24-month assessment compared with baseline: beta-blocker (92.2% versus 86.0%, +6.2%), aldosterone antagonist (60.3% versus 34.5%, +25.1%), cardiac resynchronization therapy (66.3% versus 37.2%, +29.9%), implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (77.5% versus 50.1%, +27.4%), and HF education (72.1% versus 59.5%, +12.6%) (each P<0.001). There were no statistically significant improvements in angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker use or anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation. Sensitivity analyses at the patient level and limited to patients with both baseline and 24-month quality measure data yielded similar results. Improvements in the single-point-in-time cohorts were smaller, and there were no concurrent control practices. CONCLUSIONS: The Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence-Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting, a defined and scalable practice-specific performance improvement intervention, was associated with substantial improvements in the use of guideline-recommended therapies in eligible patients with HF in outpatient cardiology practices. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00303979.
Fonarow, GC; Albert, NM; Curtis, AB; Stough, WG; Gheorghiade, M; Heywood, JT; McBride, ML; Inge, PJ; Mehra, MR; O'Connor, CM; Reynolds, D; Walsh, MN; Yancy, CW
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