BOSTON, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The 15th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) will include a presentation by Dr. Jalal Ghali on the debate surrounding the best measurement for quality of care, entitled "If We Pay for Performance, What Will We Get?"
In his presentation, Dr. Ghali will discuss the ongoing debate regarding the best method for measuring the quality of care patients are receiving. Recently, many doctors and experts have argued for standardized guidelines that should be followed when treating each patient.
"Guidelines are certainly important when caring for a heart failure patient," explained Dr. Ghali, a cardiologist at Harper University Hospital. "However, I am concerned that these may become too standardized, which could discount the role of the physician's judgment for each patient. We do not want to reach the point where doctors are practicing 'cookbook' medicine, and only following specific guidelines. Furthermore, the pace of today's science often moves faster than the rigorous guideline process, such that what we thought we knew is changing. In the light of this new knowledge, we do not want physicians, or most importantly their patients, to be pressured into conformity with therapies for which the risks can override the anticipated benefit."
Dr. Ghali explains that while some doctors and experts argue for detailed guidelines to be followed when treating a patient, others favor measuring patient outcomes to determine quality of care. He points out that regardless of the method used, the measurement of quality of care has certain implications. The results have a large effect on hospital and physician reputation and reimbursement. Dr. Ghali proposes more of a balanced approach where guidelines are used as only one of a few methods to measure performance and quality of care. Thoughtful consideration of all recommended therapies may be more fundamental to good care than one-formula- for -all prescriptions. This is more in line with the national movement toward truly patient-centered individualized medicine.
Dr. Ghali's presentation is part of a session that will present current controversies regarding the role of guidelines in the treatment of heart failure patients.
For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on attending the conference, call (617) 226-7183 or visit www.hfsa.org and click on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility. You may follow news from the meeting on Twitter #HFSA.
About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened after it is injured, most commonly from heart attack or high blood pressure, and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical evidence strongly suggests that the prevalence of heart failure will increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a "death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please visit www.abouthf.org.
About the Heart Failure Society of America
The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart failure experts. The HFSA provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional information on HFSA can be found at www.hfsa.org.
SOURCE The Heart Failure Society of America