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Low utilization and wide interhospital variation in investigation of patients after acute myocardial infarction: inadequate resources or insufficient evidence?

Williams, R. I., Fraser, Alan Gordon and West, Robert R. 2005. Low utilization and wide interhospital variation in investigation of patients after acute myocardial infarction: inadequate resources or insufficient evidence? Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 11 (4) , pp. 388-396. 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2005.00542.x

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Guidelines for the management of patients with acute myocardial infarction are available, but implementation may be difficult when resources are limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether resources, manpower or access to specialist facilities affect care following myocardial infarction. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A representative sample of 1595 patients in all 19 district general hospitals in Wales was analysed for differences in use of investigations and prescription of secondary prevention and how these factors were related to provision of cardiologists and coronary care beds and distance from specialist cardiac services. RESULTS: Inpatient investigation rates were low and there were wide interhospital variations for exercise testing [mean 42%; interquartile range (IQR) 27-59%] and echocardiography (mean 46%; IQR 33-66%). In comparison, prescription of secondary prevention was similar to European standards and showed less interhospital variation (beta blockers mean 48%; IQR 44-54%; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors mean 59%; IQR 43-63%). There was little association between investigation or secondary prevention rates and cardiac services, but overall rates and provision were low. CONCLUSION: Delivery of care after acute myocardial infarction for stratifying risk and preventing recurrence was unrelated to relative provision or distance from specialist centres. Low use of investigations and high interhospital variability could imply limited access to resources such as echocardiography. Higher rates of prescription of drugs, with less variation between hospitals, argues against low utilization because of insufficient evidence.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1356-1294
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:52
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/69135

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