Arterial Quality Committee Report

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The AQC is composed of representatives from each regional quality group and organized into workgroups for each of the arterial modules. These workgroups evaluate the data from each module and make recommendations for modification in reporting or additional analyses. During the past year, most effort was focused on a major revision of the TEVAR module, coordinated by Adam Beck, MD, to support the quality initiative related to new devices that have been approved to treat descending aortic dissection.

The AQC affirmed the VQI commitment to at least 80% one-year follow-up completion, but noted that this was achieved for only 61% of 2011 cases. Long-term follow-up data are critically important to understanding and improving outcomes, so SVS PSO staff is working with centers that need help to achieve at least 80% long term follow-up.

The AQC oversees the activity of the Research Advisory Committee (Philip Goodney, MD, Chair) which reviews and approves investigator-initiated requests for de-identified national level data to facilitate quality improvement and comparative effectiveness research. This year, 18 applications from 10 VQI centers were approved (www.svsvqi.org). Participation from each regional group is invited for all approved projects.

Other AQC activities this year included an update on the first national quality initiative to reduce surgical site infection, development of a COPI report for length of stay following elective CEA and EVAR, analysis to determine the value of arrival and maximum heart rate during surgery, recommendations for antiplatelet agents and statins, and analysis of the effect of beta-blockers on postoperative complications, which will be presented at VAM.

The AQC values and solicits participation from interested VQI members. There are more projects than there are people to do them. If you are interested in participating in these projects, please contact your regional group medical director or SVS PSO staff.

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