Quality Measures in Heart Failure: the Past, the Present, and the Future
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Purpose of Review
This paper reviews performance measure in health, their importance, and methodologic issues, focusing on metrics for health failure patients. Quality measures are instruments to assess structural aspects or processes of care aiming to guarantee that optimal patient outcomes are achieved. As heart failure is a chronic condition in which established therapies reduce mortality and hospital admissions, there are quite a lot of initiatives that aim to monitor for quality of care and to coordinate the disease management.
Several performance measures were validated for these patients, from process of care (left ventricular function assessment and use of ACEi/ARBs and beta-blockers) to health outcomes (hospital mortality and readmissions). In the early years, studies demonstrated a relationship between quality measurements and health outcomes. Nonetheless, more recent ones based on large databases of patients’ medical records have shown that traditional indicators explain only a small fraction of health and patient reported- and perceived outcomes. Public reporting of quality measures and payment conditioned to the quality of care provided were not able to show benefit in terms of hard outcomes. Data science and big data methods are promising in providing actionable knowledge for quality improvement, with real-time data that could support decision-making.
Heart failure is a chronic condition that has proven to be useful for measuring medical and healthcare quality. Evidence-based indicators have already reached high rates of adherence and are currently poorly correlated with outcomes. Using real-life data and based on the patient’s perspective can be useful tools to improve these indicators.
KeywordsQuality of care Health indicators Heart failure Outcome Readmission Big data
Compliance With Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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