Multi-hospital angioplasty improvement effort reduces deaths and complications

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Angioplasty patients in Michigan are getting far better care - and suffering far fewer complications - than they used to, thanks to a cooperative quality improvement project involving local hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Now, a range of new research results show just how dramatic the project's effect has been. And, they provide new information that may help angioplasty patients everywhere.

At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003 this week, and in a recent issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, a team led by researchers from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center report several significant observational findings from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium.

Today, the researchers will present data showing that in 25,245 artery-clearing procedures performed between July 1997 and September 2002 at five Michigan hospitals, the joint effort improved the delivery of proven medications that can prevent angioplasty complications, reduced the use of potentially toxic dye used during the procedure, and reduced the unnecessary use of a blood thinner after the procedure.

These quality improvements, in turn, were associated with a lower risk-adjusted rate of in-hospital death, unplanned bypass surgery, heart attack, kidney failure caused by the toxic dye and requiring dialysis, stroke, and a composite measure of post-angioplasty adverse cardiac events. The reductions in all these measures were still statistically significant even after the data had been adjusted for patients' individual risk factors.

"These results show just what can be achieved when hospitals cooperate, rather than compete, in a joint effort aimed at improving care," says Mauro Moscucci, M.D., the U-M Health System cardiologist who leads the project in conjunction with BCBSM's David Share, M.D., MPH. "It enables us to collect data on angioplasty and other percutaneous inte

Contact: Kara Gavin
University of Michigan Health System

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