A report of quality improvement in the care of patients with acute coronary syndromes

Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2011 Mar;10(1):29-34. doi: 10.1097/HPC.0b013e318204eb8b.


Despite the existence and wide acceptance of guidelines for the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes, gaps in patient care still remain. To improve clinical processes of acute coronary syndromes care, a performance improvement (PI) continuing medical education (CME) program, a CME format approved by the American Medical Association, was developed. Clinician participants underwent a 3-stage process: (1) an initial patient chart review for self-assessment purposes, (2) the development and implementation of a personalized PI plan focusing on strategies to enhance processes of care, and (3) a second patient chart review to assess the changes in practice. Although participants provided a high baseline level of guideline-recommended care, there was an improvement in the documentation of the use of risk scores and a trend towards improved treatment times including many participants reaching a door-to-needle time of within 30 minutes. Participants were also more likely to measure cardiac biomarkers and document electrocardiogram performance times. These results demonstrate that PI is a valid and effective means of CME that has the potential to positively affect patient outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy*
  • American Medical Association
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Time Factors
  • United States