Heart disease patients and their caregivers can now search for in-depth data about their local hospitals and make informed decisions about their care through the American College of Cardiology's public reporting program. The first data release includes information about hospitals' performance in prescribing appropriate medication at hospital discharge.
Hospitals in the public reporting program are participants in the ACC's National Cardiovascular Data Registry, a national database that collects information on specific heart conditions or procedures performed in thousands of hospitals. Hospitals are showing a commitment to quality improvement, transparency and patient empowerment by voluntarily releasing discharge medication data from the NCDR's ICD Registry, which tracks procedures to correct abnormal heart rhythms, and CathPCI Registry, which tracks procedures to open narrow or blocked arteries providing blood to the heart. All data is anonymous and does not identify patients by name.
Both patients who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, and who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, are prescribed specific medications to protect against further heart complications post-procedure. Guidelines are in place for determining which medication is appropriate, and while most physicians follow these guidelines, there are sometimes variations in care.
"Our hope is that by tracking and publicly reporting these measures we can raise awareness of variation where it exists and help to ensure consistent, evidence-based care is provided across the U.S." said ACC President Kim Allan Williams, M.D., FACC. "The hospitals that voluntarily chose to participate in this public reporting effort are showing a true commitment to quality improvement and helping to ensure heart disease patients nationwide receive the best possible care."
Hospitals can receive up to four stars based on their performance in each data measure with four out of four being the highest rating; hospitals that chose not to release data are listed as not participating in ACC's public reporting effort.
To learn more about public reporting or search and compare hospitals near you, visit FindYourHeartaHome.org powered by ACC's CardioSmart program.
The American College of Cardiology is a 49,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit acc.org.