NQF publishes report on cardiac surgery measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has published a new set of national consensus standards, "National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Cardiac Surgery," which provides a standardized set of measures and framework for improving the quality of cardiac surgery (which accounts for about 14,000 in-hospital deaths each year).

The report details quality standards endorsed by the NQFs more than 250 member organizations through its formal Consensus Development Process. As such, the measures have special legal standing as voluntary consensus standards.

The set includes 21 hospital-level measures that facilitate efforts to achieve higher levels of patient safety and better outcomes for patients. These measures are intended for public reporting.

The measures include:

  • participation in a systematic database for cardiac surgery;
  • surgical volume for isolated coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and CABG+valve surgery;
  • timing and selection of antibiotic administration for cardiac surgery patients;
  • preoperative beta blockade;
  • use of internal mammary artery;
  • duration of prophylaxis for cardiac surgery patients;
  • prolonged intubation;
  • deep sternal wound infection rate;
  • stroke/cerebrovascular accident;
  • renal insufficiency;
  • surgical re-exploration;
  • antiplatelet and antilipid medications and beta-blocker at discharge;
  • risk-adjusted CABG inpatient mortality;
  • risk-adjusted operative mortality for CABG;
  • risk-adjusted operative mortality for aortic valve replacement (AVR), mitral valve replacement/repair (MVR), AVR+CABG, and MVR+ CABG.

The executive summary of the report with a list of endorsed performance measures can be found on the NQF web site at www.qualityforum.org/.