Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: In their analysis of the OPTIMIZE-HF registry database, Dr Fonarow and colleagues1 raise important issues regarding the development of national clinical quality performance measures.
Such measures are developed to assess patterns of care known to affect patient outcomes, in order to support quality improvement. The strongest, most meaningful, and most durable performance measures are based on the highest level of clinical research evidence, derived directly from published clinical guidelines that provide a balanced impartial review of the existing evidence base. Only those guideline recommendations with the strongest level of evidence are appropriate for performance measure development.
Radford MJ, Bonow RO, Gibbons RJ, Nissen SE. Performance Measures and Outcomes for Patients Hospitalized With Heart Failure. JAMA. 2007;297(14):1547-1549. doi:10.1001/jama.297.14.1547-b