Effect of a quality improvement intervention for acute heart failure in South India: An interrupted time series study

Int J Cardiol. 2021 Apr 15:329:123-129. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.12.048. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


Background: Although quality improvement interventions for acute heart failure have been studied in high-income countries, none have been studied in low- or middle-income country settings where quality of care can be lower. We evaluated the effect of a quality improvement toolkit on process of care measures and clinical outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute heart failure in 8 hospitals in Kerala, India utilizing an interrupted time series design from February 2018 to August 2018.

Methods: The quality improvement toolkit included checklists, audit-and-feedback reports, and patient education materials. The primary outcome was rate of discharge guideline-directed medical therapy for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. We used mixed effect logistic regression and interrupted time series models for analysis.

Results: Among 1400 participants, mean (SD) age was 66.6 (12.2) years, and 38% were female. Mean (SD) left ventricular ejection fraction was 35.2% (9.7%). The primary outcome was observed in 41.3% of participants in the intervention period and 28.1% of participants in the control period (difference 13.2%; 95% CI 6.8, 19.0; adjusted OR = 1.70; 95% CI 1.17, 2.48). Interrupted time series model demonstrated highest rate of guideline-directed medical therapy at discharge in the initial weeks following intervention delivery with a concomitant decline over time. Improvements were observed in discharge process of care measures, including diet counseling, weight monitoring instructions, and scheduling of outpatient clinic follow-up but not hospital length of stay nor inpatient mortality.

Conclusions: Higher rates of guideline-directed medical therapy at discharge were observed in Kerala. Broader implementation of this quality improvement intervention may improve heart failure care in low- and middle-income countries.

Keywords: Heart failure; India.; Quality improvement..

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Interrupted Time Series Analysis
  • Male
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left