Coronary artery disease is the number-one killer in developed countries, with lifetime prevalence of up to 50% in American men, and is the topic of much medical literature. Recently, multiple therapies have emerged to save lives after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), backed by well-conducted studies; however, appropriate implementation of therapy guidelines is less than optimal. Recent efforts have focused on improving the quality of care (QC) after AMI in order to improve outcomes. This article illustrates how outcome after AMI is related to QC, describes the underuse of evidence-based therapies, and discusses factors associated with poor guideline adherence. It also reviews current quality improvement projects, and some available means to measure and optimize the QC for patients with AMI.
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