Institutional Variation in Quality of Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Implantation: A Cohort Study

I. Ranasinghe, C. Labrosciano, Dennis Horton, A. Ganesan, J. P. Curtis, H. M. Krumholz, A. McGavigan, S. Hossain, T. Air, S. Hariharaputhiran

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Background: Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are associated with procedure-related complications, yet little is known about variation in complication rates among institutions that may suggest disparities in care quality. Objective: To assess institutional variation in risk-standardized complication rates (RSCRs) for CIED. Design: Cohort study. Setting: 174 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, 98 of which implanted at least 25 CIEDs during the study period. Participants: 81 304 patients older than 18 years (mean, 74.7 years [SD, 12.4]; 37.9% female) who received a new CIED (65 711 permanent pacemakers [PPMs] and 15 593 implantable cardioverter-defibrillators [ICDs]) in 2010 to 2015. Measurements: RSCRs and frequencies of major device-related complications during hospitalization or within 90 days of discharge. Results: Of the cohort, 6664 patients (8.2%) had a major complication. Although complication rates were higher for ICDs than PPMs (10.04% vs. 7.76%), 76.5% of all complications were attributable to PPMs (5098 vs. 1566 for ICDs). Among hospitals that implanted at least 25 CIEDs, the median RSCR was 8.1%; however, rates varied from 5.3% to 14.3%, with 22 hospitals identified as having RSCRs that differed significantly from the national average. Similar variation was observed when RSCRs for PPM implantation (n = 96 hospitals) (median RSCR, 7.6% [range, 5.4% to 12.9%]) were considered separately from those for ICD placement (n = 68 hospitals) (median RSCR, 9.7% [range, 6.2% to 16.9%]) and persisted when only elective procedures were assessed (n = 88 hospitals) (median RSCR, 7.4% [range, 4.7% to 13.0%]). Limitation: Possible unmeasured confounding from the use of administrative data. Conclusion: CIED complications are common and vary among hospitals, suggesting institutional variation in CIED care quality. Concerted clinical and policy interventions are needed to address CIED-related complications. These efforts should preferentially target PPMs, because most CIED complications are attributable to these devices. Primary Funding Source: The Hospitals Contribution Fund Research Foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged Australia Defibrillators, Implantable/*adverse effects Female Hospitals/*standards/statistics & numerical data Humans Male New Zealand Pacemaker, Artificial/*adverse effects *Quality Assurance, Health Care Risk Factors

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