Patient safety analysis of the ED care of patients with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations: a multicenter prospective cohort study.
Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Oct 17;
Authors: Calder L, Tierney S, Jiang Y, Gagné A, Gee A, Hobden E, Vaillancourt C, Perry J, Stiell I, Forster A
OBJECTIVES: For emergency department (ED) patients with acute exacerbations of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we aimed to assess the adherence to evidence-based care and determine the proportion that experienced adverse events.
METHODS: An expert panel identified critical actions for ED care of heart failure and COPD patients based on clinical practice guidelines. We collected outcome data for discharged ED patients >age 50 with acute heart failure or COPD in a multicenter prospective cohort study at five academic EDs. We measured 3 flagged outcomes: return ED visit, admission, or death within 14 days. Three trained physician reviewers reviewed case summaries for adverse event determination (flagged outcomes related to healthcare received). We evaluated health records for adherence to the critical actions for each condition.
RESULTS: We identified 122 (7.0%) flagged outcomes among 1,718 enrolled patients (61 heart failure, 59 COPD and 2 dual diagnoses). The mean age was 74.2 (SD 10.4) and 44.3% were female. Among 10 critical actions for heart failure and 13 for COPD, a mean proportion of 9.4/10 and 11.0/13 were adhered to respectively. We identified 12 adverse events (9.8%, 95%CI: 5.6-16.5%), all of which were deemed preventable, including 1 death. The most common contributors were unsafe disposition decisions (10/12, 83.3%) and diagnostic issues (5/12, 41.7%). Patients who died with heart failure were statistically significantly less likely to have guideline adherent care (P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS: A small proportion of return ED visits were related to index care. We believe there is need for improvement around disposition decision making for both conditions to reduce the highly preventable and clinically significant adverse events we found.
PMID: 24139995 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]