Registries and Accreditation: A Coordinated Approach to Quality Improvement

One of ACC's key priorities is the development of a comprehensive health systems strategy. At the crux of this strategy is the need to provide hospitals, health systems and other facilities with an integrated, holistic approach to quality improvement across the cardiovascular care spectrum.

The College's NCDR suite of hospital and outpatient registries, along with ACC Accreditation Services, Quality Improvement Campaigns and education, all play a role in this effort.

NCDR gathers and reports data that help hospitals and health systems measure, evaluate and enhance patient care. Registries inform providers of the treatment choices; assist in the evaluation of practice patterns, technologies and devices; and can help set clear goals toward clinical improvement.

"Development of the NCDR has provided unprecedented data access for physicians and members of the care team, health care systems, hospitals and other health delivery systems," says William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, ACC executive vice president of Science, Quality, Education and Publishing. "Data from these registries have been used to advance our understanding of clinical trials and guidelines in contemporary practice; ensure optimal use of devices or therapies; and ultimately achieve better outcomes."

Offering accreditation services, in addition to NCDR, helps further translate available data into improvements in patient care. While some health care systems and physicians have the infrastructure to leverage this data optimally to improve care, many do not. Accreditation processes – especially those integrated with clinical databases – have the potential to aid physicians and the cardiovascular care team in documenting and improving care.

ACC Accreditation Services, formerly the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, aims to improve clinical processes for the early assessment, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Accreditation programs provide hospitals and health systems with an evidence-based framework for process improvement that is intended to enhance operational effectiveness and contribute to the achievement of improved outcomes, better care and lower costs. To date, ACC offers accreditation for chest pain centers, cardiac cath labs, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and, most recently, electrophysiology labs.

ACC's National Quality Improvement Campaigns are a natural progression for hospitals and health systems involved with NCDR and ACC Accreditation Services to break down barriers to care by encouraging widespread adoption of evidence-based practices. Among these campaigns: "Surviving MI," ACC's initiative for increasing the adoption of strategies that help reduce 30-day risk standardized mortality rates that are associated with patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction; and "Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI," which applies a team-based approach to reducing unnecessary 30-day readmissions following a myocardial infarction. Learn more at ACC's Quality Improvement for Institutions website,

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: ACC18, ACC Annual Scientific Session, National Cardiovascular Data Registries, Quality Improvement, Atrial Fibrillation, Patient Readmission, Myocardial Infarction, Registries, Evidence-Based Practice, Electrophysiology, Heart Failure, Accreditation

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