Although previous studies have documented adherence with certain established heart failure (HF) quality metrics in outpatient cardiology practices, the extent to which there is conformity with other evidence-based, guideline-driven quality metrics in outpatients with HF is unknown. IMPROVE HF is a prospective cohort study designed to characterize the current management of patients with chronic HF and left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% in outpatient cardiology practices. We evaluated baseline data for conformity with adjunctive HF therapies including pneumococcal vaccinization, hydralazine/isosorbide dinitrate (HYD/ISDN) for Black patients, statin therapy, antiplatelet therapy, smoking-cessation counseling, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (<100 mg/dl), and systolic blood pressure decrease (all patients <140 mm Hg or [optimal] <130 mm Hg). Baseline data were available for 15,381 patients attending 167 cardiology practices. Patient characteristics included a median age 70 years, 71.0% men, 9.1% Black patients, 65.2% with ischemic HF cause, and 61.7% with a history of hypertension. Mean adherences or documentations of adherence were only 7.3% for HYD/ISDN and 1.0% for pneumococcal vaccination. Adherence to other adjunctive therapies ranged from 27.4% to 82.0% but none of the adjunctive treatment interventions were associated with high levels of adherence. Conformity with guideline-recommended, adjunctive HF therapies is deficient in the management of outpatients with HF. Critical gaps in documentation or delivery of care exist, especially for the use of pneumococcal vaccination and HYD/ISDN. In conclusion, improved processes of care, better documentation, and/or increased measures to promote adherence to all primary and adjunctive therapies for HF are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine