Heart failure imposes a significant burden on patients and on the health care system. Vulnerable elders are at especially increased risk for morbidity and mortality from heart failure. Elderly patients with heart failure frequently experience significant variation in processes and outcomes of care. Improvements in processes of care for this high-risk group may substantially reduce disease burden and improve patient outcomes. This project investigated the relationship between processes and outcomes of care and aimed to develop explicit criteria to evaluate the quality of care of elderly patients with heart failure. Fourteen indicators were judges to be valid as measures of quality of heart failure care for vulnerable elders. These indicators may serve as a basis to compare the care provided by different health care delivery systems and to compare the change in care over time.
Originally published in: Annals of Internal Medicine, v. 135, no. 8, pt. 2, October 16, 2001, pp. 694-702.
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