News | March 23, 2010

Partnership Designed to Reduce Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Care

March 23, 2010 – At ACC last week Medtronic launched the Every Patient First health equity initiative, in partnership with healthcare providers, and professional societies, to reduce disparities in access to healthcare in the United States.

“Medtronic’s vision is to improve overall access to life?saving therapies for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity,” said H. James Dallas, senior vice president of quality and operations at Medtronic. “Every Patient First is more than an awareness program, our goal with this initiative is to provide healthcare professionals with targeted, actionable strategies and partnership programs to help them overcome barriers to getting patients treatment for their cardiovascular disease.”

Significant differences in medical care, particularly for women and the elderly, were identified in the baseline data from the largest study of United States?based heart failure (HF) patients in the outpatient setting from the Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence?Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting (IMPROVE HF).

Specifically, women were less likely than men to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) when indicated (43.2 vs. 53.7 percent), education about their condition (59.2 vs. 62.4 percent), or anti-coagulation treatment for atrial fibrillation (64.8 vs. 70.9 percent), and older patients were less likely than younger patients to receive certain types of guideline?indicated interventions.

To address these disparities and as part of Every Patient First, Medtronic is launching the following two collaborations, which offer physicians and providers process improvement tools and educational programs aimed at driving equity in care:

• ACC’s Coalition to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in CV Outcomes (CREDO), which aims to measurably reduce disparities in the management of cardiovascular disease. Medtronic is a founding CREDO sponsor.

• Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) Every Patient First Challenge, a pilot quality improvement program where participating cardiology practices will measure and implement quality protocol and pathway programs to improve adherence to guidelines.

“This strong collaboration of industry and associations will lead the way to providing physicians and practices with real solutions for delivering quality care to all Americans,” said Hector Ventura, M.D., co?chair of CREDO and section head, Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation, Ochsner Health Systems in New Orleans.

“While CREDO will continue with the registry on health disparities in cardiovascular care, Medtronic?s Every Patient First initiative will provide tools for physicians and practices to drive change at the point of care.”

Every Patient First aims to address the barriers that prevent people from receiving therapies to improve and save their lives. Research shows that disparities exist beyond clinical and socioeconomic factors. The challenges are especially acute for women, racial and ethnic minorities, people 65 and older, and those whose primary language is not English.

Healthcare professionals can reduce disparities in access to healthcare by adhering to proven guidelines for optimal care without regard to gender, race or ethnicity. For example, new data presented at ACC 2010 from IMPROVE HF showed cardiology practices significantly increased the quality of care for heart failure patients equally for men and women when they monitored care and applied a practice?specific performance improvement system to better meet heart failure guideline recommendations.

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