A study of the relationship between hospital adherence to congestive heart failure (CHF) quality performance measures and 30-day readmission rates found little association, except for the assessment of left ventricular function, which, if not performed according to guidelines, was associated with higher readmissions.1
Lead author Sula Mazimba, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio, looked at adherence to the performance measures, which in recent years have been adopted by quality organizations and third-party payors as surrogate markers for quality of care. These include documented ordering of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, providing discharge instructions to patients, and counseling on smoking cessation.
The study looked retrospectively at 6,000 CHF patients within a four-hospital healthcare system between 2001 and 2009, at a time when adherence to the performance measures rose to 99.9% from 95.8%. The hospital readmission rate for these patients averaged 19.6%.
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Oakland, Calif.