Background: Hospitals are under increasing pressure to improve their quality of care. However, a key question remains: how can hospitals best design and implement successful quality improvement (QI) programs? Hospitals currently employ a variety of QI initiatives but have little empirical evidence on which to base their quality efforts. Methods: We designed and applied a hospital cross-sectional survey to 212 hospitals participating in CRUSADE (Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes with Early Implementation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines), a voluntary QI initiative of patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS). We factor analysis and an ordinary least squares regression model to determine the key hospital factors most associated with unexpected improvements in institutional QI in the treatment of NSTE ACS. Results: From 2002 to 2004, the following factors had a significant association with unexpected increases in the 2004 QI in NSTE ACS treatment: the use of CRUSADE QI tools, clinical commitment to quality by a cardiology coadvocate, institutional financial commitment to quality, and barriers to QI related to resource availability and cultural resistance to change (all P < .10). Of these factors, optimal use of CRUSADE QI tools was associated with the highest absolute improvement in process adherence score relative to other factors. Conclusions: We identified several institutional factors associated with improved quality of care in the treatment of high-risk NSTE ACS. We hope that this evidence-based framework will help guide the development and implementation of future QI programs in order to improve the institutional quality of care for NSTE ACS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine