Reasons for not meeting coronary artery disease targets of care in ambulatory practice
INTRODUCTION: Four targets of care: control of blood pressure, control of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, taking aspirin daily, and not using tobacco improve outcomes for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). We sought to identify why, in a large multispecialty group, these targets were not being met in patients with CAD. METHODS: We thus conducted a retrospective review of patient records in the group practice's CAD registry, which is updated quarterly. RESULTS: Of a random selection of 14,973 patients in the CAD registry, 353 charts were consecutively reviewed until theoretic saturation was achieved-that is, until no new information was found. We could not find any evidence of CAD in 14 patients, and we considered that all four targets had been met for 169 patients. The most frequent reasons for not meeting all targets of care among the 170 remaining patients were 1) the patient was in for a visit and the care team failed to address an unmet target of care (n = 98), 2) the patient was asked to come back for follow-up care but did not (n = 28), and 3) the patient declined an intervention that was offered (n = 14). Blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were the targets that were most frequently out of range. CONCLUSION: Giving the health care team access to tools with which they can identify the concurrent care needs of their patients could significantly increase the proportion of patients with CAD for whom care targets are met. Lists generated by these tools would also be significantly more accurate than lists generated from quarterly reports.
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