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Arch Intern Med. 2004 Mar 22;164(6):664-7.

Lack of physician concordance with guidelines on the perioperative use of beta-blockers.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the Long Island Campus for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY 11040, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The American College of Physicians recommends perioperative use of beta-blockers for certain patients to improve outcomes after surgery. Study of physician behavior with respect to guidelines and recommended practices have shown that beta-blockers have been underutilized after myocardial infarction. We evaluated physician concordance with the perioperative use of beta-blockers along with a specialty-related difference in the frequency of perioperative beta-blocker use.

METHODS:

To determine perioperative use of beta-blockers, we retrospectively analyzed the medical charts of adult patients who underwent open cholecystectomy at a tertiary care medical center from December 1997 through December 2001. Patients met criteria for perioperative beta-blocker use if they had a history of coronary artery disease or if they had the presence of 2 or more of the following risk factors: 65 years or older; history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or hypercholesterolemia; or current smoking.

RESULTS:

Among the 336 cases of cholecystectomy reviewed, criteria for beta-blocker use were met in 146 patients (43%) who did not have emergency operations and/or contraindications to beta-blocker use. Of these 146 patients, 123 (84%) had a documented preoperative medical evaluation by a physician in the medical chart. There were 44 patients (30%) receiving beta-blockers prior to admission, and 102 patients (70%) were not receiving beta-blockers. Of those 102 patients not receiving beta-blockers at admission but who meet criteria for their use, 94 (92%) were not started on beta-blocker therapy preoperatively. Of the 18 patients evaluated by a cardiologist, 4 (22%) were started on beta-blocker therapy compared with 3 (6%) of 47 patients evaluated by a noncardiologist physician (P =.08).

CONCLUSION:

Perioperative beta-blocker therapy is underutilized in patients with risk factors for coronary artery disease despite evidence that its use in appropriate individuals may be lifesaving.

PMID:
15037496
DOI:
10.1001/archinte.164.6.664
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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