Magazine article Drug Topics

UCLA Pharmacists Take Patient Education to Heart

Magazine article Drug Topics

UCLA Pharmacists Take Patient Education to Heart

Article excerpt

HOSPITAL PRACTICE

A deceptively simple program being conducted at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center has cut the risk of a second myocardial infarct (MI) or death within one year by 57%. The program, called CHAMP (Cardiovascular Hospitalization Atherosclerosis Management Program), is an inhospital effort to boost patient and physician compliance with standard drug therapy and exercise guidelines.

Focusing on the four major drug groups used in treating coronary heart disease, researchers compared MI patients pre-CHAMP (1992-93) and post-CHAMP (1994-95). They found that:

*aspirin utilization increased from 68% to 92%.

*beta-blocker utilization jumped from 12% to 62%.

* ACE inhibitor utilization soared from 6% to 58%.

* statin utilization skyrocketed from 6% to 86%.

UCLA said its compliance rates are the highest ever reported for MI patients at discharge. A complete program description can be found on the Web at www.med.ucla.edu/champ.

"There isn't anything new in CHAMP except the setting," said Rita Jue, clinical coordinator in the department of pharmaceutical services at the hospital. "We're just implementing key points in standard therapy recommendations within the institution. Patients admitted with an MI have an incentive to pay very close attention to anything that will keep them from coming back again."

The American Heart Association is paying attention, too. When CHAMP published its results in the American Journal of Cardiology in March, AHA applauded the program. "This shows that the key to keeping heart disease patients alive is providing them with immediate and thorough treatment before they walk out of the hospital," said AHA's chief science officer, Sidney Smith, M.D.

AHA is rolling out its own version of CHAMP through regional affiliates over the next few months. "Get with the Guidelines" is designed to help hospitals launch their own CHAMP-like programs to boost compliance with the recommended four-drug cardiac regimen.

Jue emphasized that daily exercise; no tobacco use; and a regular regimen of aspirin, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and statins are essential for long-term survival.

According to CHAMP program designer Gregg Fanarow, MD, associate professor of medicine at UCLA's division of cardiology, it is not a difficult regimen. …

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