Cardiac care, including cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR), is most effective if it is high-quality. The aim of this study was to describe CR quality, using the recently developed Canadian Cardiovascular Society CR quality indicators (QIs). Difference in quality between CR sites was also assessed.Methods:
Secondary analysis was conducted on an observational, prospective, multisite CR program evaluation cohort. A convenience sample of patients from 1 of 3 CR programs was approached at their first CR visit, and consenting participants completed a survey. Clinical data were extracted from charts pre- and postprogram. Of the 30 CR QIs, 21 (70.0%) were assessable: 10 process, 9 outcome, and 2 structure QIs.Results:
Of 411 consenting patients, 209 (53.0%) completed CR. The greatest quality was observed for assessment of blood pressure (98.1%), communication with primary health care at CR discharge (94.2%), and patient enrollment (94.0%). The lowest quality was observed for wait time from hospital discharge (9.2%), assessments of blood glucose (42.1%), and lipid control (53.0%). Of the 7 QIs that had an established benchmark, quality for 2 (28.6%) was above the benchmark (particularly assessment of blood pressure). Significant between-site differences were observed in 11 (64.7%) QIs. The magnitude of quality differences between sites was largest for assessment of lipid control (72.6%), assessment of blood glucose control (69.0%), and wait time in median days from referral to enrollment (30.6 days).Conclusion:
There is wide variability in CR program quality, both overall and between CR sites. Quality improvement in particular aspects of CR care is required.