Myocardial infarction, heart attack, acute MI, STEMI –are these all the same event? Maybe, maybe not, especially when we are talking about patient outcomes reported to a data warehouse such as the Anesthesia Quality Institute’s (AQI’s) National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR). While one practice may call the adverse event a myocardial infarction and another refers to a similar occurrence as an acute MI, do the two practices utilize the same diagnostic criteria for making the diagnosis? Are ECG changes, troponin elevation and chest pain required? What troponin level is necessary?

Although this may sound like an academic exercise, it becomes critically important when an anesthesia practice wants or needs to compare its outcomes against national benchmarks, or the practice participates in a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) and must report their performance on Centers for Medicare &...

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