Validity of Performance and Outcome Measures for Heart Failure. Circulation. Heart failure Patel, J., Sandhu, A., Parizo, J., Moayedi, Y., Fonarow, G. C., Heidenreich, P. A. 2018; 11 (9): e005035


Background Numerous quality metrics for heart failure (HF) care now exist based on process and outcome. What remains unclear, however, is if the correct quality metrics are being emphasized. To determine the validity of certain measures, we compared correlations between measures and reliability over time. Measures assessed include guideline-recommended beta-blocker (BB), any BB, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, and hydralazine/isosorbide dinitrate (in blacks) use among candidates, 30-day mortality, 1-year mortality, and 30-day readmission. Methods and Results This was an observational cohort analysis using chart review and electronic resources for 55735 patients from 102 Veterans Affairs medical centers hospitalized with HF from 2008 to 2013. Assessments of convergent validity and reliability were performed. Significant correlations were found between in-hospital rates of ACE inhibitor use and the following measures: BB use, 30-day mortality, and 1-year mortality. Guideline-recommended BB use was also significantly correlated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, 30-day mortality, and 1-year mortality. There was no correlation between 30-day readmission rates and any therapy or mortality. Measure reliability over time was seen for guideline-recommended BBs ( r=0.57), mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists ( r=0.50), 30-day mortality ( r=0.29), and 1-year mortality ( r=0.31). ACE inhibitor and readmission rates were not reliable measures over time. Conclusions BB use, ACE inhibitor use, mortality, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist use are valid measures of HF quality. Thirty-day readmission rate did not seem to be a valid measure of HF quality of care. If the goal is to identify high-quality HF care, the emphasis on decreasing readmission rates might be better directed towards improving usage of the recommended therapies.

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