This major effect on mortality rates, seen in 2,800 Medicare patients treated at 33 Michigan hospitals, is the first evidence that standardized heart care saves lives.
The University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center physician who helped lead the project will present the results here today in a late-breaking session and press conference at the Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology.
Kim Eagle, M.D., FACC, will describe how the ACC's Guidelines Applied in Practice (GAP) Project improved the chances that heart attack patients received all the recommended tests, drugs and lifestyle advice. The project also made sure that before they left the hospital, patients pledged that they understood their disease, their medications, and the need to change their smoking, eating and exercise habits.
This improved care led to a 25 percent lower death rate at 30 days and one year for patients treated after the hospitals in the study implemented the GAP guidelines, compared with those treated before the project began.
"We're thrilled to be able to show this strong link between guidelines-based care and lower mortality," says Eagle. "This proves the benefit of working to close the gap between what we know works for patients and what we deliver on a daily basis."
The GAP Project was previously shown to increase the chances that hospitalized heart attack patients would get proven medications to prevent complications and future problems, such as aspirin and beta blockers. Prior GAP results had also shown that reminder stickers on patient charts, and a checklist and contract that must be completed by both the nurse and the patient before discharge from the hospital, m
Contact: Kara Gavin
University of Michigan Health System