Cardiac Care Variations Found in Hospitals in Australia and New Zealand

Cardiac Care Variations Found in Hospitals

Cardiac care quality could be determined by the institutional variations from hospital to hospital, rather than the standard devices and procedures found out a new study.

Hospitals in Australia and New Zealand were examined on the same cardiac care procedures provided to patients treated with Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices (CIED). Discrepancies in comparison were found to be threefold in the treatment in both countries.

The study examined 98 hospitals covering these two countries with 25 cases of implants of permanent pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillators. The average risk standardization problem was found to be more than 8%. But the variations between these two were too astute to ignore. With hospitals reporting complication rates in variables. The complication rates for pacemakers were between 5.4% to 12.9% and those with cardioverter-defibrillators were shown to be much wider between 6.2% to 16.9%. Such disparities are considered to be lethal and needs an enquiry. “These complications are not trivial; they may have a profound effect on patients’ wellbeing and quality and duration of life,” the Population Health Research Institute’s Jorge Wong and PJ Devereaux wrote in a related editorial. “The study results suggest that the risk for early CIED complications differs substantially among hospitals, highlighting the need for increased initiatives at the institutional level to improve quality of care for CIED recipients.”

The study suggests policy interventions and some much-needed scrutiny of the matter. “We should be routinely reporting hospital complication rates to make these fully visible to clinicians, hospitals and the community. We should also invest in strategies proven to reduce these, such as optimizing procedural technique, adopting better infection control measures and managing blood thinning drugs peri-procedure,” Anand Ganesan, a study co-investigator said.

Australia’s Hospitals Contribution Fund Research Foundation funded the study.