Session Explores Use of Registries to Improve Quality of Arrhythmia Care
The treatment of cardiac arrhythmias is evolving rapidly. Providers seem to have more options and tools than ever before for treating patients with arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation (AFib). A special session at ACC.15 offered a unique opportunity for discussions around whether registries, like those in the ACC’s NCDR, can improve the quality of arrhythmia care.
Joseph P. Drozda, MD, FACC, kicked off the session with a presentation on anticoagulation for AFib in the clinic, based on insights from the ACC’s PINNACLE Registry. He discussed the importance of leveraging PINNACLE data to inform AFib care through: research in peer-reviewed journals, feedback to providers, education and quality improvement. Mohan N. Viswanathan, MD, FACC, shared why there will always be a role for registries as a data gathering forum. He mentioned that “registries need to be regularly updated as an ongoing record of performance of devices and leads.”
However, some panelists noted that while registries are highlighting the gaps in care, providers need to move beyond the point of simply identifying errors. Facilities must use the NCDR registries to also analyze the data and proposing solutions, the said. “We must understand the impact of reporting from the NCDR data,” said Mark S. Kremers, MD, CCDS. “Things don’t get fixed just by measuring every day. We’ve been feeding data to the PINNACLE Registry and expect it to improve care.”
The session concluded with a discussion panel aimed at answering the question whether or not the registries can improve the quality of arrhythmia care. According to Matthew R. Reynolds, MD, “if we look at the registries’ results, it can be said that the use of registries definitely improves documentation across the board. This may lead to a higher quality of care.”
Drozda wrapped up the discussion panel, noting that registries are important, easy-to-use, quality improvement tools but they don’t improve the care by themselves. “It is up to us to make the best use out of these tools and employ them to offer the best available care,” he said. He and other panelists highlighted that NCDR registries are the cornerstone of the ACC’s quality improvement strategies through gap analysis, raising awareness, peer-reviewed research and guidelines, and quality and performance improvement.
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