SVS and AVF team up to improve varicose vein treatment


Introducing the VQI Varicose Vein Registry

Across the United States, thousands of vein centers and hospitals offer a range of treatments for varicose veins to address everything from cosmetic concerns to advanced venous ulcers. An abundance of options leave patients with many questions regarding optimal care. Through the new Vascular Quality Initiative Varicose Vein Registry (VQI VVR), the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum plan to improve this situation.

The VQI VVR is a new option for vein centers interested in participating in a varicose vein quality improvement registry, whether as a quality improvement initiative, for quality measure reporting, or as one step toward certification from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for Vein Centers.

New registry combines strengths of VQI and former AVF registry

The VQI VVR builds on the previous success of the AVF varicose vein registry, adding confidence and convenience features that are inherent in the VQI platform. The result, said former AVF Varicose Vein Steering Committee chair Jose Almeida, MD, is “an efficient, manageable, low-cost registry that can be used by every vein center in the U.S. to meet the needs of IAC accreditation.”

The VQI was launched in 2011 to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and cost of vascular healthcare. Today, 300 centers in 46 states use the VQI web-based data registry. Members enjoy real-time reporting capability and are able to anonymously compare their patients, care processes, and procedure outcomes with those reported by other centers. Unlike other national data registries the VQI:

▶ Qualifies as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO), which provides protection against discovery of comparative data in legal proceedings, so members may submit all outcomes without fear of reprisal;

▶ Audits claims data to ensure that all procedures are submitted in order to avoid selective reporting;

▶ Includes one-year follow-up to assess both early and late results; and

▶ Convenes members semi-annually, in 16 U.S. regional groups, to discuss variation in processes and outcomes, and develop quality improvement projects.

The rapid growth of participating centers has been facilitated by a user-friendly system for data entry and reporting, created by M2S, Inc., and the availability of granular comparative data, including risk-adjusted outcome and efficiency measures, which provide actionable information not otherwise available.

VQI reports are available to all physicians who perform procedures in a center.

Additionally, VQI is endorsed by the American Venous Forum, the Society for Interventional Radiology and the Society for Vascular Medicine, each of which is represented on the VQI Governing Council and VQI committees.

VQI VVR available by year-end

The new registry will be ready for data entry by year-end at an annual cost of $2,200 per vein center. M2S is working with vendors of vein center electronic record systems to allow integration of their systems with the VQI VVR interface to eliminate dual data entry.

Importantly, the VQI VVR will rapidly accumulate data that will allow the Venous Quality Committee to analyze and compare different treatment options for differing patient and disease characteristics, to help improve optimal patient and treatment selection.

In addition, the VQI has now partnered with the FDA and industry to provide a registry-based method to perform post-approval surveillance of new medical devices, which will be applicable to varicose vein treatments.

For more information, contact Carrie Bosela, RN, administrative director, SVS PSO at [email protected].

Based on an article by Jack L. Cronenwett, MD, appearing in VEIN Magazine, Fall Issue, 2014.


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