As health systems around the world increasingly look to measure and improve the value of care that they provide to patients, being able to measure the outcomes that matter most to patients is vital. To support the shift towards value-based health care in atrial fibrillation (AF), the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) assembled an international Working Group (WG) of 30 volunteers, including health professionals and patient representatives to develop a standardized minimum set of outcomes for benchmarking care delivery in clinical settings.
Methods and results
Using an online-modified Delphi process, outcomes important to patients and health professionals were selected and categorized into (i) long-term consequences of disease outcomes, (ii) complications of treatment outcomes, and (iii) patient-reported outcomes. The WG identified demographic and clinical variables for use as case-mix risk adjusters. These included baseline demographics, comorbidities, cognitive function, date of diagnosis, disease duration, medications prescribed and AF procedures, as well as smoking, body mass index (BMI), alcohol intake, and physical activity. Where appropriate, and for ease of implementation, standardization of outcomes and case-mix variables was achieved using ICD codes. The standard set underwent an open review process in which over 80% of patients surveyed agreed with the outcomes captured by the standard set.
Implementation of these consensus recommendations could help institutions to monitor, compare and improve the quality and delivery of chronic AF care. Their consistent definition and collection, using ICD codes where applicable, could also broaden the implementation of more patient-centric clinical outcomes research in AF.