Cardiologists' Use of clinical information for management decisions for patients with unstable angina: a policy analysis
Previous studies of management of unstable angina have revealed substantial differences in management between different hospitals, especially with respect to the use of coronary angiography. Physicians in a hospital with angiography facilities were more inclined to perform angiography than were physicians in hospitals without these facilities, even when differences in patient populations were taken into account. The authors compared the management strategies of 18 cardiologists, working in hospitals with and without angiography facilities, using a series of paper-case summaries, in order to assess the contribution of individual variability between physicians to practice differences. Physicians who worked in a hospital with in-house angiography facilities were more inclined to request angiography in similar case summaries, but the inter-individual variation exceeded the between-hospital variation. The variation in individual policies with respect to the decision to initiate coronary angiography could be associated with differences in weighting clinical information. These results confirm that practice variations may have many causes: variability in patients' characteristics, variations in how physicians react to these, differences in the availability of services, and variability in thresholds for action.
|Keywords||*Coronary Angiography, *Decision Support Techniques, Angina Pectoris/drug therapy/*radiography, Decision Making, Computer-Assisted, Evidence-Based Medicine, Exercise Test, Health Policy, Human, Radiology Department, Hospital|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272989X9701700305, hdl.handle.net/1765/5549|
Bossuyt, P.M.M., Nette, R.W., Simoons, M.L., Taylor, T.R., & van Miltenburg-van Zijl, A.J.M.. (1997). Cardiologists' Use of clinical information for management decisions for patients with unstable angina: a policy analysis. Medical Decision Making: an international journal, 17(3), 292–297. doi:10.1177/0272989X9701700305