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South Med J. 1999 Aug;92(8):782-9.

Quality of care for Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure in rural Georgia.

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Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.



It is not known whether quality of care for congestive heart failure (CHF) at rural hospitals is similar to that in larger, urban hospitals.


We reviewed hospital charts for 310 Medicare patients hospitalized with CHF at six hospitals in rural Georgia.


Of the 310 patients, 101 (33%) had left ventricular systolic dysfunction, and 60 (19%) had preserved systolic function. Information on left ventricular function was not available for 48% (range, 29% to 87% across the six hospitals). Among patients with systolic dysfunction, 77% were prescribed an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor at discharge, and 73% were prescribed digoxin. However, the mean daily ACE inhibitor dose was only 48% of the recommended target dose. Only 30% of all patients with atrial fibrillation were prescribed warfarin.


Overall quality of care for CHF at rural hospitals appears similar to that in other settings, though many patients may not receive evaluation of ventricular function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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