A Comparison of Acute Coronary Syndrome Care at Academic and Nonacademic Hospitals

Manesh R. Patel, Anita Y. Chen, Matthew T. Roe, E. Magnus Ohman, L. Kristin Newby, Robert A. Harrington, Sydney C. Smith, W. Brian Gibler, James E. Calvin, Eric D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although adherence to guidelines recommendations is assumed to be more difficult for nonacademic community hospitals, patterns of adherence have not been evaluated by hospital type. We sought to identify hospital characteristics associated with high levels of adherence in order to gain insight into successful processes of care. Methods: From January 2001 through March 2004, we analyzed data from 86,042 patients in the CRUSADE Initiative with high-risk non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) defined by positive cardiac markers or ischemic ST-segment changes. Academic sites were defined by Council of Teaching Hospital affiliation in the American Hospital Association database. Adherence was determined for each hospital based on guidelines recommendations for the use of 4 acute (<24 hrs) and 5 discharge therapies in patients without contraindications. Multivariable modeling was used to standardize hospital estimates for patient characteristics and control for clustering within centers. Results: A total of 60,285 patients were admitted to nonacademic hospitals (n = 355), and 25,757 were admitted to academic hospitals (n = 125). Academic hospitals were larger (median 500 vs 268 beds, P <.001) and more often had bypass services (88% vs 60%, P <.001). Composite adherence to recommended therapies was slightly higher at academic vs. nonacademic hospitals (median 77.8% vs 73.7%, P <0.01), and variance in individual hospital performance was greater among nonacademic sites. Nonacademic hospitals accounted for 15 of the 20 highest performing sites and 19 of the 20 lowest performing sites. In-hospital clinical outcomes, including cardiogenic shock, stroke, and death were similar for patients admitted to both types of hospital. Conclusion: Adherence to American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines for NSTE ACS care at academic hospitals is slightly higher than at nonacademic hospitals; however there is significant room for improvement within both systems. The larger performance variation in care among nonacademic hospitals highlights the need for continued emphasis on consistent care processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute coronary syndromes
  • Patient care
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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