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Am Heart J. 2013 Jun;165(6):862-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.02.010. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Performance measures to promote quality improvement in sudden cardiac arrest prevention and treatment.

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Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27715, USA.


Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the most impactful public health problems in the United States. Despite the progress made in reducing the number of cardiac deaths, the incidence of sudden cardiac death remains high. Studies of life-saving interventions for prevention and treatment of SCA, like β-blockers, aldosterone antagonists, implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy, automated external defibrillators, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, have brought to light substantial underutilization, variations in care, and disparities. Thus, a comprehensive systems-based approach to addressing these gaps in care should be implemented. In addition to educating stakeholders about SCA and its prevention and developing tools that could help physicians identify patients who could benefit from primary prevention of SCA, robust performance measures with strong, evidence-based association between process performance and patient outcomes are needed. In this article, we review the burden of SCA and highlight the need to develop performance measures related to the prevention and treatment of SCA.

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