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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.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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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