Statin Prescriptions for High-Risk Patients Are Increased by Laboratory-Initiated Framingham Risk Scores: A Quality-Improvement Initiative.

Authors: Naugler C, Cook C, Morrin L, Wesenberg J, Venner AA, Campbell N, Anderson T


Can J Cardiol. 2017 May;33(5):682-684

Low rates of cardiovascular preventive therapy with statin medications is a significant public health problem in Canada. There is a pressing need for public health interventions to increase the use of statin medications, especially among high-risk patients. In this article, we present the results of a quality assurance pilot program to provide laboratory-reported Framingham Risk Score (FRS) to physicians. This work was performed in a mixed urban and rural setting in southern Alberta. We provided FRSs and, for high-risk patients, statin treatment recommendations in conjunction with laboratory lipid panel requests. Adhesive labels were supplied to primary care physicians, and space was provided for information necessary for the calculation of the FRS by a laboratory information system. In total, 16 physicians from 4 different clinics participated in the pilot program. Data were collected from October 25, 2014-November 5, 2015, during which time 1266 patients had FRSs from the laboratory. Three hundred twenty-four individuals were identified as high risk for coronary heart disease (≥ 20% 10-year risk) and received a recommendation for treatment with a statin medication in the laboratory result report. These individuals had a 26% relative and a 6.4% absolute increase in statin prescriptions compared with before the pilot program. The laboratory-based provision of FRSs with statin treatment recommendations for high-risk individuals has the potential to significantly increase the use of statin drugs.



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