Alabama coronary artery bypass grafting project: Results of a statewide quality improvement initiative

William L. Holman, Richard M. Allman, Monique Sansom, Catarina I. Kiefe, Eric D. Peterson, Kevin J. Anstrom, Steadman S. Sankey, Steve G. Hubbard, Robert G. Sherrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Context: Efforts to improve quality of care in the cardiac surgery field have focused on reducing the risk-adjusted mortality associated with common surgical procedures, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, the best methodological approach to improvement is under debate. Objective: To test an intervention to improve performance of CABG surgery. Design and Setting: Quality improvement project based on baseline (July 1, 1995-June 30, 1996) and follow-up (July 1-December 31, 1998) performance measurements from medical record review for all 20 Alabama hospitals that provided CABG surgery. Patients: Medicare patients discharged after CABG surgery in Alabama (n=5784), a comparison state (n=3214), and a national sample (n=3758). Intervention: Confidential hospital-specific performance feedback and assistance with multimodal improvement interventions, including the option to share relevant experience with peers. Main Outcome Measures: Duration of intubation, reintubation rate, aspirin therapy at discharge, use of the internal mammary artery (IMA), hospital readmission rate, and risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality. Results: Proportion of extubation within 6 hours increased from 9% to 41% in Alabama, decreased from 40% to 39% in the comparison state, and increased from 12% to 25% in the national sample. Use of IMA increased from 73% to 84%, 48% to 55%, and 74% to 81%, respectively, in the 3 samples, but aspirin use increased only in Alabama (from 88% to 92%). The amount of improvement in all 3 of these process measures was greater in Alabama than in the other samples (IMA use for Alabama vs comparison state was P=.001 and for Alabama vs national sample; P=.02; and P<.001 for all other comparisons). Risk-adjusted mortality decreased in Alabama (4.9% to 2.9%), but this decrease was not statistically significantly different from mortality changes in the other groups (odds ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.54-1.07 vs national sample). Conclusion: Confidential peer-based regional performance feedback and process-oriented analysis of shared experience are associated with some improvement in quality of care for patients who underwent CABG surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3003-3010
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 20 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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