Alabama coronary artery bypass grafting project: results from phase II of a statewide quality improvement initiative

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Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

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Adrenergic beta-Antagonists; Aged; Alabama; Aspirin; Benchmarking; Cardiology Service, Hospital; Coronary Artery Bypass; Coronary Artery Disease; Female; Graft Rejection; Graft Survival; Health Services Research; Hospital Mortality; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care); Postoperative Care; Program Evaluation; *Quality Assurance, Health Care; Severity of Illness Index; Surgery Department, Hospital; Survival Analysis; Total Quality Management


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: This report describes the first round of results for Phase II of the Alabama CABG Project, a regional quality improvement initiative.

METHODS: Charts submitted by all hospitals in Alabama performing CABG (ICD-9 codes 36.10-36.20) were reviewed by a Clinical Data Abstraction Center (CDAC) (preintervention 1999-2000; postintervention 2000-2001). Variables that described quality in Phase I were abstracted for Phase II and data describing the new variables of beta-blocker use and lipid management were collected. Data samples collected onsite by participating hospitals were used for rapid cycle improvement in Phase II.

RESULTS: CDAC data (n = 1927 cases in 1999; n = 2001 cases in 2000) showed that improvements from Phase I in aspirin prescription, internal mammary artery use, and duration of intubation persisted in Phase II. During Phase II, use of beta-blockers before, during, or after CABG increased from 65% to 76% of patients (P < 0.05). Appropriate lipid management, an aggregate variable, occurred in 91% of patients before and 91% after the educational intervention. However, there were improvements in 3 of 5 subcategories for lipid management (documenting a lipid disorder [52%-57%], initiating drug therapy [45%-53%], and dietary counseling [74%-91%]; P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In Phase II, this statewide process-oriented quality improvement program added two new measures of quality. Achievements of quality improvement from Phase I persisted in Phase II, and improvements were seen in the new variables of lipid management and perioperative use of beta-blockers.

DOI of Published Version



Ann Surg. 2004 Jan;239(1):99-109. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of surgery

PubMed ID


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Link to Article in PubMed