Abstract 373: Participation Rates, Process Monitoring, and Quality Improvement Among United States Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs: A National Survey
Background: Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is an effective but highly underutilized treatment for heart disease. Prior studies have demonstrated that the use of strategies such as systematic referral (as part of an order set that does not depend on physician initiative or memory, usually with an opt-out option), liaison facilitated referral (a specific staff member who discusses the program, encourages attendance, and facilitates referral), an early appointment (< 2 weeks), and telephone appointment reminder calls can all improved enrollment rates. However, it is unclear how frequently these strategies are utilized across the United States, how often CR programs monitor their participation rates, and how often quality improvement (QI) projects designed to improve participation rates are performed.
Methods: We surveyed all CR program directors in the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation’s (AACVPR) database. We assessed basic program features, use of systematic referral, liaison facilitated referral, early appointments, and telephone reminder calls and QI projects. We also assessed self-reported referral, enrollment, and completion rates.
Results: Response rate was 36% (290/812). Non-response bias analysis showed reasonable survey representativeness. Over the past 5 years, 49% of programs measured hospital referral, 21% office/clinic referral, 71% program enrollment, and 74% program completion rates. Self-reported rates (interquartile range) were 68 [32 to 90]% for hospital referral, 35 [15 to 60]% for office/clinic referral, 70[46 to 80]% for program enrollment, and 75[62 to 82]% for program completion. Programs reported utilizing a hospital-based systematic referral, liaison facilitated referral, or inpatient CR program 64%, 68%, and 60% of the time, respectively. Early appointments (< 2 weeks) were utilized by 35% and consistent phone call appointment reminders were utilized by 50%. Over the past 5 years, the percent or programs performing QI projects were 62% for hospital referral, 42% for clinic referral, 60% for program enrollment, and 57% for program completion. Measurement of participation rates was highly correlated with performing QI projects (p < 0.0001.)
Conclusions: Although programs are aware of participation rate gaps, the monitoring of participation rates is suboptimal, quality improvement initiatives are infrequent, and proven strategies for increasing patient participation are inconsistently utilized. Awareness in outpatient clinical settings is particularly low. These issues likely contribute to the national CR participation gap and may prove to be useful targets for national QI initiatives.
Author Disclosures: Q.R. Pack: None. R.W. Squires: None. F. Lopez-Jimenez: None. S.W. Lichtman: None. J.P. Rodriguez-Escudero: None. P.K. Lindenauer: None. R.J. Thomas: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.