The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) launched the Vascular Quality Initiative® (VQI) in February 2011. Today, VQI has more than 160 participating centers with more than 850 participating physicians. The high level of initial interest in VQI® continues with additional centers in the contracting phase and new regional quality groups under development. SVS encourages all vascular surgeons to join the initiative as well as cardiologists, radiologists, and other specialists who perform vascular procedures captured in VQI.
A key component of VQI is the regional quality groups that provide an opportunity to develop specific quality improvement projects based on regional data in order to change practice, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. The continued formation and expansion of regional quality groups creates a greater value for benchmarking clinical data among providers as well as the rapid accumulation of data that can influence quality improvement initiatives and quality research.
As of June 2012, the eight regional quality groups accredited by the SVS Patient Safety Organization (PSO) were: Carolinas Vascular Quality Group, Florida Vascular Study Group, Rocky Mountain Vascular Study Group, Southern California Vascular Outcomes Improvement Collaborative, Southern Vascular Outcomes Network, Vascular Study Group of Greater New York, Vascular Study Group of New England, and Virginias Vascular Study Group. Each regional group has a representative on the SVS PSO Governing Council and Quality Committee.
Committees of the SVS PSO provide medical expertise, data analyses, and oversight of quality improvement activities. Currently, the Quality Committee reviews all data elements based on requests from members and comparison with other registries. This activity coincides with software development at the medical image and data management services company M2S that increases the functionality of the VQI cloud-based system thus providing a reporting engine that allows for customized quality reports with more risk-adjustments and detailed data analysis. This reporting functionality is set to be released into the database within the next few months. It is available for demonstration purposes.
Two major current projects of the SVS PSO are: implementation of EMR integration for data entry, and development of methods to incorporate cost data to understand the value as well as the quality of care. In addition, the SVS PSO has embarked on its first full audit by comparing registry data with physician billing data in order to assure complete data entry.
As of June 2012, the VQI had collected data on more than 50,000 procedures and accumulates more than 3,000 procedures each month. The VQI collects perioperative and one year follow-up data for patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, carotid artery stenting, open and endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, infra-inguinal and supra-inguinal bypass, peripheral vascular interventions, thoracic and complex endovascular aortic repair, and hemodialysis access. An amputation procedure module will be added in the near future.
For a list of participating centers, physicians, and regional quality group information, visit http://www.vascularqualityinitiative.org/participants.