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Articles by A. F Hernandez
Total Records ( 8 ) for A. F Hernandez
  T. Y Wang , G. C Fonarow , A. F Hernandez , L Liang , G Ellrodt , B. K Nallamothu , B. R Shah , C. P Cannon and E. D. Peterson
 

Background  Recent initiatives have focused on reducing door-to-balloon (DTB) times among patients with acute myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. However, DTB time is only one of several important AMI care processes. It is unclear whether quality efforts targeted to a single process will facilitate concomitant improvement in other quality measures and outcomes.

Methods  This study examined 101 hospitals (43 678 patients with AMI) in the Get With the Guidelines program. For each hospital, DTB time improvement from 2005 to 2007 was correlated with changes in composite Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (CMS/JCAHO) core measure performance and in-hospital mortality.

Results  Between 2005 and 2007, hospital geometric mean DTB time decreased from 101 to 87 minutes (P < .001). Mean overall hospital composite CMS/JCAHO core measure performance increased from 93.4% to 96.4% (P < .001), and mortality rates were 5.1% and 4.7% (P = .09) in the early and late periods, respectively. Improvement in hospital DTB time, however, was not significantly correlated with changes in composite quality performance (r = –0.06; P = .55) or with in-hospital mortality (r = 0.06; P = .58). After adjustment for patient mix, hospitals with the most improvement in DTB time did not have significantly greater improvements in either CMS/JCAHO measure performance or mortality.

Conclusions  Within the Get With the Guidelines program, DTB times decreased significantly over time. However, there was minimal correlation between DTB time improvement and changes in other quality measures or mortality. These results emphasize the important need for comprehensive acute myocardial infarction quality-improvement efforts, rather than focusing on single process measures.

  L. H Curtis , M. A Greiner , B. G Hammill , L. D DiMartino , A. M Shea , A. F Hernandez and G. C. Fonarow
 

Background— Participation in clinical registries is nonrandom, so participants may differ in important ways from nonparticipants. The extent to which findings from clinical registries can be generalized to broader populations is unclear.

Methods and Results— We linked data from the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure (OPTIMIZE-HF) registry with 100% inpatient Medicare fee-for-service claims to identify matched and unmatched patients with heart failure. We evaluated differences in baseline characteristics and mortality, all-cause readmission, and cardiovascular readmission rates. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine relationships between registry enrollment and outcomes, controlling for baseline characteristics. There were 25 245 OPTIMIZE-HF patients in the Medicare claims data and 929 161 Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure who were not enrolled in OPTIMIZE-HF. Although hospital characteristics differed, patient demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions were similar. In-hospital mortality for OPTIMIZE-HF and non–OPTIMIZE-HF patients was not significantly different (4.7% versus 4.5%; P=0.37); however, OPTIMIZE-HF patients had slightly higher 30-day (11.9% versus 11.2%; P<0.001) and 1-year unadjusted mortality (37.2% versus 35.7%; P<0.001). Controlling for other variables, OPTIMIZE-HF patients were similar to non–OPTIMIZE-HF patients for the hazard of mortality (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.06). There were small but significant decreases in all-cause (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92 to 0.97) and cardiovascular readmission (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91 to 0.98).

Conclusions— Characteristics and outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in OPTIMIZE-HF are similar to the broader Medicare population with heart failure, suggesting that findings from this clinical registry may be generalized.

  W. R Lewis , A. G Ellrodt , E Peterson , A. F Hernandez , K. A LaBresh , C. P Cannon , W Pan and G. C. Fonarow
 

Background— Significant disparities have been reported in the application of evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) in women and the elderly. We hypothesized that participation in a quality-improvement program could improve care for all patients and thus narrow treatment gaps over time.

Methods and Results— Treatment of 237 225 patients hospitalized with CAD was evaluated in the Get With the Guidelines–CAD program from 2002 to 2007. Six quality measures were evaluated in eligible patients without contraindications: aspirin on admission and discharge, β-blockers use at discharge, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor antagonist use, lipid-lowering medication use, and tobacco cessation counseling along with other care metrics. Over time, composite adherence on these 6 measures increased from 86.5% to 97.4% (+10.9%) in men and 84.8% to 96.2% (+11.4%) in women. There was a slight difference in composite adherence by sex that remained significant over time (P<0.0001), but this was confined to patients <75 years. Composite adherence in younger patients (<75 years) increased from 87.1% to 97.7% (+10.6%) and from 83.0% to 95.1% (+12.1%) in the elderly (≥75 years) over time.

Conclusions— Among hospitals participating in Get With the Guidelines–CAD, guideline adherence has improved substantially over time for both women and men and younger and older CAD patients, with only slight age and sex differences in some measures persisting.

  P. N Peterson , J. S Rumsfeld , L Liang , N. M Albert , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , G. C Fonarow , F. A Masoudi and on behalf of the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines Heart Failure Program
 

Background— Effective risk stratification can inform clinical decision-making. Our objective was to derive and validate a risk score for in-hospital mortality in patients hospitalized with heart failure using American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines–Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) program data.

Methods and Results— A cohort of 39 783 patients admitted January 1, 2005, to June 26, 2007, to 198 hospitals participating in GWTG-HF was divided into derivation (70%, n=27 850) and validation (30%, n=11 933) samples. Multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of in-hospital mortality in the derivation sample from candidate demographic, medical history, and laboratory variables collected at admission. In-hospital mortality rate was 2.86% (n=1139). Age, systolic blood pressure, blood urea nitrogen, heart rate, sodium, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and nonblack race were predictive of in-hospital mortality. The model had good discrimination in the derivation and validation datasets (c-index, 0.75 in each). Effect estimates from the entire sample were used to generate a mortality risk score. The predicted probability of in-hospital mortality varied more than 24-fold across deciles (range, 0.4% to 9.7%) and corresponded with observed mortality rates. The model had the same operating characteristics among those with preserved and impaired left ventricular systolic function. The morality risk score can be calculated on the Web-based calculator available with the GWTG-HF data entry tool.

Conclusions— The GWTG-HF risk score uses commonly available clinical variables to predict in-hospital mortality and provides clinicians with a validated tool for risk stratification that is applicable to a broad spectrum of patients with heart failure, including those with preserved left ventricular systolic function.

  G. C Fonarow , M. J Reeves , E. E Smith , J. L Saver , X Zhao , D. W Olson , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , L. H Schwamm and on behalf of the GWTG Stroke Steering Committee and Investigators
 

Background— Stroke results in substantial death and disability. To address this burden, Get With The Guideline (GWTG)-Stroke was developed to facilitate the measurement, tracking, and improvement in quality of care and outcomes for acute stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients in the United States.

Methods and Results— We analyzed the characteristics, performance measures, and in-hospital outcomes in the first 1 000 000 acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and TIA admissions from 1392 hospitals that participated in the GWTG-Stroke Program 2003 to 2009. Patients were 53.5% women, 73.3% white, and with mean age of 70.1±14.9 years. There were 601 599 (60.2%) ischemic strokes, 108 671 (10.9%) intracerebral hemorrhages, 34 945 (3.5%) subarachnoid hemorrhages, 26 977 (2.7%) strokes not classified, and 227 788 (22.8%) TIAs. Performance measures showed small to moderate differences by cerebrovascular event type. In-hospital mortality rate was highest among intracerebral hemorrhage (25.0%) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (20.4%), and intermediate in ischemic stroke (5.5%) patients and lowest among TIA patients (0.3%). Significant improvements over time from 2003 to 2009 in quality of care were observed: all-or-none measure, 44.0% versus 84.3% (+40.3%, P<0.0001). After adjustment for patient and hospital variables, the cumulative adjusted odds ratio for the all-or-none measure over the 6 years was 9.4 (95% confidence interval, 8.3 to 10.6, P<0.0001). Temporal improvements in length of stay and risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate (for ischemic stroke and TIA) were also observed.

Conclusions— With more than 1 million patients enrolled, GWTG-Stroke represents an integrated stroke and TIA registry that supports national surveillance, innovative research, and sustained quality improvement efforts facilitating evidence-based stroke/TIA care.

  P. N Peterson , J. S Rumsfeld , L Liang , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , G. C Fonarow , F. A Masoudi and on behalf of the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Program
 

Background— Although the absolute benefits of an intervention are proportional to patients’ underlying risk, studies in heart failure have noted a paradoxical inverse relationship between treatment and risk. The extent to which this reflects higher rates of contraindications in patients with higher risk or larger gaps in care quality has not been explored.

Methods and Results— We studied 18 307 patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction surviving hospitalization between January 2005 and June 2007 from 194 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)–Heart Failure. Patients were categorized according to their estimated risk for in-hospital mortality using a validated risk score. The proportions of patients with documented contraindications to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and β-blockers as well as the use of these medications among patients without contraindications at hospital discharge was determined across levels of risk. For each therapy, the proportion of patients with contraindications was significantly higher with increasing patient risk (P<0.001 for each). Even after excluding those with contraindications, the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers and β-blockers was significantly lower with increasing risk (P<0.001 for each).

Conclusions— The use of evidence-based therapies is lower in patients with heart failure at higher risk of mortality both because of higher rates of contraindications to therapy and lower rates of use among eligible patients. Optimizing heart failure outcomes will require both the expansion of the evidence base for treating the highest-risk patients as well as the development of effective strategies to assure that eligible high-risk patients receive all appropriate therapies.

  A. F Hernandez , G. C Fonarow , B. G Hammill , S. M Al Khatib , C. W Yancy , C. M O'Connor , K. A Schulman , E. D Peterson and L. H. Curtis
 

Background— The clinical effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in older patients with heart failure has not been established, and older patients have been underrepresented in previous studies.

Methods and Results— We identified patients with heart failure who were aged 65 years or older and were eligible for an ICD, had left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, and were discharged alive from hospitals participating in the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure and the Get With the Guidelines–Heart Failure quality-improvement programs during the period January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. We matched the patients to Medicare claims to examine long-term outcomes. The main outcome measure was all-cause mortality over 3 years. The study population included 4685 patients who were discharged alive and were eligible for an ICD. Mean age was 75.2 years, 60% of the patients were women, mean ejection fraction was 25%, and 376 (8.0%) patients received an ICD before discharge. Mortality was significantly lower among patients who received an ICD compared with those who did not (19.8% versus 27.6% at 1 year, 30.9% versus 41.9% at 2 years, and 38.1% versus 52.3% at 3 years; P<0.001 for all comparisons). The inverse probability-weighted adjusted hazard of mortality at 3 years for patients receiving an ICD was 0.71 (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.91).

Conclusions— Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less who were selected for ICD therapy had lower risk-adjusted long-term mortality compared with those who did not receive an ICD.

Clinical Trial Registration— clinicaltrials.gov. Identifier: NCT00344513.

 
 
 
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