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Following Heart Disease Guidelines Saves Lives, According to a Kaiser Permanente Abstract Presented at AHA Scientific Sessions
Date:11/4/2007

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Consistent implementation of proven Heart Disease guidelines can save lives, according to a Kaiser Permanente (KP) abstract, published this week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida.

The researchers followed 598 patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) admitted to Kaiser Permanente emergency departments in Northern California and examined whether they received any of six key interventions included in American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines(1) that are known to decrease deaths from ACS. The results were then compared with data for ACS patients admitted to non-KP emergency departments, gathered by the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction (NRMI) and CRUSADE(2).

Overall, more Kaiser Permanente patients received the recommended therapies in every case. For example, 92 per cent of Kaiser Permanente patients with ACS were discharged with an ACE inhibitor(3) or angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB)(4), recommended in the guidelines as an effective therapy for reducing mortality from heart attacks. By comparison, only 61 per cent of eligible patients in non-KP hospitals in the CRUSADE database and 55 per cent in the NRMI database received an ACE inhibitor or ARB. On admission, 97 per cent of eligible KP patients received beta blockers compared with 74 per cent in NRMI.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California has been systematically implementing the National Clinical Guidelines since the 1990s. Study co-author Eleanor Levin, MD explained that cardiologists and emergency physicians used the guidelines to develop protocols and standardized admit and discharge orders for treating ACS patients.

"Following the guidelines in KP Northern California has been so successful because four departments -- cardiology, quality, emergency medicine, and hospital-based specialists -- have worked closely together to implement protocols and orders for heart
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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