In-hospital, guideline-led care will now reach more hospitals, and even more people in China. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, supported by funding from AstraZeneca, is seeking to expand in-hospital cardiovascular care guideline adherence through the Improving Care for Cardiovascular Disease in China project, a collaborative effort with the Chinese Society of Cardiology.

With the initial phase of the project now reporting a landmark 75 percent compliance rate in guideline-led care among those hospitals enrolled, the opportunity exists to replicate these improvements nationwide, with the potential to improve outcomes for millions more patients.

“AstraZeneca’s support of the American Heart Association-sponsored Improving Care for Cardiovascular Disease in China, will help the project achieve maximum impact,” said Sidney Smith, M.D., American Heart Association volunteer and spokesperson.

“Funding from AstraZeneca will not only add scale and reach to the effort but will ensure evidence-based guidelines are reaching the hospitals and communities in China that need it most,” said Gregg Fonarow, M.D., American Heart Association volunteer and spokesperson.

The project began as a multi-year effort in 2013 focused on improving adherence with evidence-based therapy for patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and atrial fibrillation (AFib), and now involves more than 150 hospitals and 72,000 ACS patients throughout China. In mid-2017, the project expanded to include 42 secondary hospitals. While compliance among both tertiary and secondary hospitals improves over time, tertiary hospitals demonstrate a higher guideline composite score than secondary hospitals.

Evidence suggests that is in part due to secondary hospitals joining the effort more recently, and points to a need for secondary hospitals to apply best practices and learn from the tertiary hospitals.

AstraZeneca’s support will extend the project by at least two additional years, into at least 50 additional secondary hospitals, with the potential to set a benchmark for best-practice that could be replicated across China.

“As a leader in cardiovascular medicine with more than 100 years of heritage in the field, we focus on developing the highest quality medicines to improve outcomes for patients living with what remains the biggest cause of death worldwide,” said Bruce Cooper, senior vice president and head of global medical affairs, AstraZeneca. “Our investment in this program aims to help close the significant gaps that remain between guideline-directed therapy and clinical practices, with the potential to deliver better outcomes for patients across China.”

Additional goals for the project expansion are:

  • Improving the lowest performing metrics (e.g., timely fibrinolytic therapy and smoking cessation counseling in appropriate patients) as well as adjusting for regional differences with ongoing webinars and workshops
  • Strengthening communication between National Health Commission (NHC) on a national and local level by sharing project results
  • Strengthening transitions from hospital to home, improving patient adherence to medications and reducing the risk of secondary events

The quality programs of the Improving Care of Cardiovascular Disease in China project not only drive the adoption of evidence-based therapies, but also require monitoring of performance over time to ensure hospitals maintain high levels of performance.