Study shows quality-improvement effort saves lives
The same philosophy used to make better cars and computer chips can also save the lives of heart attack patients, a new study finds. In fact, 26 percent fewer patients died in the first year after their heart attack when hospitals used quality-improvement tactics to prevent crucial heart-care steps from "slipping through the cracks" -- in much the same way a car company ensures that a car is made well before it leaves the factory.
The steps included a checklist that doctors, nurses and patients in 33 Michigan hospitals had to complete before each patient could leave the hospital. The checklist, based on national heart-care guidelines, helped make sure that patients got crucial drugs, tests and lifestyle advice that could help prevent another heart attack. And thats what appears to have saved the lives of many patients, compared with those treated before the quality-improvement effort started. The study involved 2,857 patients, 1,489 of whom were treated after the effort started.
Kara Gavin | EurekAlert!
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