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Standard admission orders can improve the management of acute myocardial infarction


Objective —To evaluate whether the use of standard admission orders for patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is associated with better hospital quality of care.

Design — Secondary analysis of a population-based database derived from a large cluster randomized AMI quality improvement trial.

Setting — Seventy-eight acute care hospital corporations located in Ontario, Canada.

Participants — A total of 5338 patients with AMI admitted directly to the coronary care/intensive care units of participating hospitals in 2004/2005. Main outcome measure(s) Hospital performance on seven process-of-care measures and a combined composite process-of-care measure. Secondary outcomes were 30-day and 1-year mortality rates.

Results — Most patients (81%) were treated with standard admission orders. These patients were more likely to receive four of seven identified process-of-care measures (P< 0.05), including fibrinolytics ≤ 30 min or primary percutaneous coronary intervention ≤ 90 min of arrival, fibrinolytics administration decided by emergency department physician, aspirin ≤ 6 h of arrival and lipid test ≤ 24 h. After propensity-score matching (for risk adjustment), use of standard admission orders was not associated with significantly lower 30-day or 1-year mortality. However, patients who met the composite process-of-care measure had lower 30-day and 1-year mortality (relative risk= 0.51 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.40-0.67) and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.58-0.84), respectively).

Conclusion — In AMI, the use of standard admission orders was associated with improved hospital performance on several but not all acute process-of-care quality indicators. The utilization of standard admission orders should be considered as a strategy for improving hospital care in patients admitted with AMI.



Abrahamyan L, Austin PC, Donovan LR, Tu JV. Int J Qual Healthcare. 2012; 24(4):425-32. Epub 2012 May 16.

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