Institutional variation in quality of cardiovascular implantable electronic device implantation: A Cohort Study

Isuru Ranasinghe, Clementine Labrosciano, Dennis Horton, Anand Ganesan, Jeptha P. Curtis, Harlan M. Krumholz, Andrew McGavigan, Sadia Hossain, Tracy Air, Saranya Hariharaputhiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019


  • A Cohort Study
  • Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device
  • CIED complications
  • Institutional Variation


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