NCDR.18: Going Beyond Data Collection to Blaze New Trails

Cardiology Magazine ImageDouglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD

Nearly 2,000 registry professionals, quality experts, physicians and cardiovascular administrators gathered this past week for the NCDR Annual Conference (NCDR.18). With the theme, “Trailblazing the Future,” this year’s conference focused on ways the NCDR is going beyond data collection to establish a new generation of cardiovascular care by using data to guide quality improvement initiatives with the goal of improving patient care.

The conference kicked-off with the Ralph G. Brindis Keynote Lecture, delivered by Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD, president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association. In his lecture, titled “Interoperability: A Promise Kept (or not) to Transform Healthcare,” Fridsma discussed the barriers and opportunities for streamlining data collection and presented an outline for future data interoperability.

Cardiology Magazine ImageRalph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC

As the health care environment increasingly focuses on value-based care, the need to analyze and apply data to care decisions continues to be a high priority within the NCDR. “NCDR plays a critical role in our ever-changing health care system,” says Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC, NCDR senior medical advisor. “The registries are an important linchpin for monitoring measures that are tied to value-based reimbursement and demonstrating quality in cardiovascular care.”

Throughout the meeting, attendees gained new NCDR registry-specific and industry knowledge, took away best practices through networking, and discovered tools and techniques to apply to quality improvement efforts. Registry-specific concurrent workshops throughout the conference provided participants with a deep-dive into individual registries and provided updates and opportunities to discuss data quality issues. In addition, ACTION Registry, ICD Registry, CathPCI Registry and STS/ACC TVT Registry agendas were divided into two, 40-minute sessions to allow more time for case scenarios.

Cardiology Magazine ImageC. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC

“The NCDR is evolving to meet the demands of a changing health care environment,” explains ACC Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC. “We’re looking at how to use that data to develop quality improvement innovations that will ensure we’re delivering the best possible care to patients and improving outcomes.”

Participants heard real-world examples of how NCDR participants are analyzing data to harness performance improvement and how stakeholders, such as private payers, state and federal government agencies, are using NCDR data to accelerate clinical performance.

Always a highlight of the conference, the annual awards ceremony yesterday afternoon recognized this year’s poster winners. NCDR received nearly 80 poster abstracts this year representing the eight hospital registries. Selected posters highlight how institutions have used NCDR data to inform grassroots quality improvement efforts.

The conference closed with an interactive session called “It’s NCDR Jeopardy!” Selected contestants answered questions across categories spanning each of the NCDR registries, broader areas like NCDR history and NCDR research, and quality improvement in a format similar to the game show.

For more information about NCDR.18, visit

Don’t miss today’s session, NCDR CathPCI Registry for Reporting and Quality, from 4:45 – 6:00 p.m. in Room 205 A.

NCDR Research at ACC.18

Several abstracts based on NCDR data will be presented during ACC.18. Research topics include the impact of the diabetes drug empagliflozin on cardiovascular risk factor, the effect of age and frailty on survival in patients undergoing TAVR, in-hospital mortality after TAVR, and outcomes following urgent TAVR procedures. Expanding on previous years, these abstracts highlight the role of NCDR registries in practice-changing clinical research.

ACTION Registry

CathPCI Registry

Diabetes Collaborative Registry


STS/ACC TVT Registry

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper, ACC Annual Scientific Session

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