Learning to Optimize Quality: A Recap of NCDR.17

The energizing and ever-growing NCDR Annual Conference was held on March 13 – 15 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center located just outside Washington, D.C. and was attended by more than 1,600 health care professionals. There were two pre-conferences – NCDR Orientation 101 and LAAO Registry – as well as two pre-conference workshops on accreditation – cath lab and chest pain – led by ACC Accreditation Services.

There were many exciting sessions, including several nationally known health care leaders. Robert Califf, MD, MACC, a champion of the value of real-world evidence, particularly from professional registries such as the NCDR, kicked off the conference by giving the Ralph G. Brindis Endowed Keynote Lecture. Califf, a cardiovascular specialist and the immediate-past commissioner of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focused his talk on high-quality, credible evidence generation to inform patients, hospitals and government regulatory agencies in terms of safety, efficacy and post-market surveillance, and to inform clinicians about best therapies.

"Dr. Califf's lecture validated the work of the quality analysts and all who work daily, often with too little recognition, to serve the goal of improving cardiovascular care for patients," said Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC, co-chair of NCDR.17.

Ben Harder was one of several other notable speakers throughout the three-day conference. Harder is the chief health analyst for U.S. News & World Report and oversees its 'Best Hospitals' rankings, was recently recognized as one of the 60 most powerful people in health care in 2016 by Becker's Hospital Review. Harder, along with Karen Joynt, MD, MPH, from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Gregory J. Dehmer, MD, MACC, head of the NCDR Public Reporting Advisory Group, took part in a panel on public reporting. Two other speakers from the FDA, William Maisel, MD, MPH, and Jeffrey Shuren, MD, JD, discussed the vision and priorities of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health by video.

Registry-specific concurrent workshops during the conference allowed attendees a deep-dive into individual registries and provided updates and opportunities to discuss data quality issues. All sessions were recorded and are available for purchase on the NCDR Annual Conference website.

There was a record number of posters, including 25 that highlighted the successes from ACC's Patient Navigator Program. The poster sessions provide time to explore experiences and solutions developed by other NCDR professionals. The poster awards went to:

  • 1st place: "Data Transparency Informs Improvement Efforts in Cardiac Catheterization Lab STEMI Processes"; Jason Mathisen, MBA, MHA; Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 2nd place: "Improvement in Quality Indicators Using NCDR Registries; First International Experience"; Pedro de Barros e Silva, MD; Hospital Totalcor, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 3rd place: "Facilitating an Inter-Rater Validation for CathPCI"; Christina Comito, RN, BSN; Indiana University Health Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Peoples' Choice: "The Right Meds for the Right Outcomes: A Quality Improvement Initiative on Improving Discharge Medication Compliance and Documentation Across Multiple Registries"; Rosha Nodine, BAAS; The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, Plano, Texas.

NCDR.17 Poster Awards

A key benefit of attending NCDR.17 is a deeper understanding of the NCDR and how it can facilitate the capacity of hospitals and health systems to optimize their quality, "and thereby position themselves very well to operate within the new policy environment of reimbursement being tied to high quality care," said Frederick A. Masoudi, MD, MSPH, FACC, chair of the NCDR Management Board and chief science officer of the NCDR.

This article was authored by Pat Casey, MSN, RN, AACC.