Helping Hospitals Optimize Quality the Focus of NCDR.17

Long recognized as the meeting for the cardiovascular quality improvement professional community, NCDR.17 held March 13 – 15 at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center continued to live up to its reputation. Nearly 1,600 professionals descended on National Harbor, MD, to learn quality improvement best practices, sharpen and learn new skills, and network.

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.

Robert M. 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, has focused 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.

Expo"Dr. Califf’s lecture validated the work of the quality analysts and all who work on a daily basis, often with too little recognition, to serve the goal of improving cardiovascular care for patients." Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC

“Dr. Califf’s lecture validated the work of the quality analysts and all who work on a daily basis, 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, who oversees the Best Hospitals rankings at U.S. News & World Report, and who was recently recognized as one of the 60 most powerful people in health care in 2016 by Becker’s Hospital Review, was one of several other notable speakers throughout the three-day conference. 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 throughout the conference allowed conference participants a deep-dive into individual registries and provided updates and opportunities to discuss data quality issues. Two pre-conference workshops held on March 13 introduced participants to the new LAAO Registry and provided an overview of the NCDR for those new to the conference and ACC registries in general.

Expo"Accreditation is inherently interprofessional.” Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, FACC

Also new this year, the ACC expanded NCDR.17 offerings with two pre-conference workshops on accreditation, led by ACC Accreditation Services. The contribution of registry data to achieving accreditation and the synergy between the mission and values of the NCDR and ACC Accreditation Services made this a natural evolution within the annual meeting, said Brindis.

“Accreditation is inherently interprofessional,” says Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board, making it a perfect fit within NCDR.17. Levy moderated a session on this topic as part of the NCDR.17 Interprofessional Track. Other topics in this track, included financial and operational challenges, and a look at the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the NCDR in the payment reform era.

ACC’s NCDR celebrates 20 years of continuous quality improvement. The NCDR improves the quality of cardiovascular patient care by providing data, tools and solutions for implementing quality improvement initiatives, and supporting research that improves patient care and health outcomes. Learn more on

Want more NCDR? Search “NCDR” in the ACC.17 App for applicable sessions. Visit for more information on the NCDR, ACC Accreditation Services and quality campaigns for hospitals and other institutions.

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper, ACC Annual Scientific Session, Accreditation, Goals, Humans, Hospitals, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, Quality Improvement, Radiologic Health, Radiologic Health, Registries, United States Food and Drug Administration

< Back to Listings