Quality of care at critical access hospitals (CAH)

Critical access hospitals are vital for providing care to those that live in sparsely populated areas. This retrospective review of the quality of care for those with AMI, CHF, and pneumonia were compared for Medicare beneficiaries receiving care at CAH’s or non-CAH’s. Those at CAH were significantly less likely to recieve core process measures, and had higher 30 day mortality, for all 3 conditions. Not surprisingly, CAH’s were less likely to have an ICU, to have EHR’s, or to have cardiac cath capabilities. Although CAH’s are vital to rural populations, the quality of care they can provide will continue to be scrutinized, and innovative strategies to close the quality gap (such as telehealth links to larger centers) will need to be employed  (abstract)

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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