Physician performance assessment: Prevention of cardiovascular disease

Rebecca S. Lipner, Weifeng Weng, Kelly J. Caverzagie, Brian J. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Given the rising burden of healthcare costs, both patients and healthcare purchasers are interested in discerning which physicians deliver quality care. We proposed a methodology to assess physician clinical performance in preventive cardiology care, and determined a benchmark for minimally acceptable performance. We used data on eight evidence-based clinical measures from 811 physicians that completed the American Board of Internal Medicine's Preventive Cardiology Practice Improvement ModuleSM to form an overall composite score for preventive cardiology care. An expert panel of nine internists/cardiologists skilled in preventive care for cardiovascular disease used an adaptation of the Angoff standard-setting method and the Dunn-Rankin method to create the composite and establish a standard. Physician characteristics were used to examine the validity of the inferences made from the composite scores. The mean composite score was 73.88 % (SD = 11.88 %). Reliability of the composite was high at 0.87. Specialized cardiologists had significantly lower composite scores (P = 0.04), while physicians who reported spending more time in primary, longitudinal, and preventive consultative care had significantly higher scores (P = 0.01), providing some evidence of score validity. The panel established a standard of 47.38 % on the composite measure with high classification accuracy (0.98). Only 2.7 % of the physicians performed below the standard for minimally acceptable preventive cardiovascular disease care. Of those, 64 % (N = 14) were not general cardiologists. Our study presents a psychometrically defensible methodology for assessing physician performance in preventive cardiology while also providing relative feedback with the hope of heightening physician awareness about deficits and improving patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1045
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Performance assessment
  • Prevention
  • Standard of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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