VQI launches fellowship in training program, announces scholarship

Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen

The Society for Vascular Surgery’s Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) is launching a new SVS Patient Safety Organization VQI Fellowship in Training (SVS PSO FIT) program. It is for individuals completing their medical residencies or fellowships in any vascular disease-focused specialty, such as vascular surgery, cardiology, radiology or vascular medicine.

VQI also has unveiled the Jack L. Cronenwett, MD, Quality Improvement Scholarship Award, named in honor of the SVS VQI registry’s co-founder, vascular surgeon and educator.

The 12- to 18-month program, which will begin in January 2022, will be directed by the PSO and aims to foster an understanding of quality processes and metrics among vascular residents and fellows—known as trainees—through mentorship in the VQI in collaboration with the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery (APDVS), American College of Cardiology and Society for Vascular Medicine.

Following completion of the program, up to five trainees per calendar year will be eligible to share in a portion of a $50,000 educational scholarship fund as part of the Cronenwett to support participation in PSO-approved activities.

“The program’s unique focus on the utilization of clinical performance data, available in the registries of the SVS VQI, will enable trainees to learn about quality improvement in healthcare,” says Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, MD, medical director of the SVS PSO and a founding partner of VQI. “We’re particularly excited about the scholarship opportunity, which will be awarded to top applicants who want to gain in-depth knowledge of quality assessment and quality improvement.”

The scholarships honor Cronenwett’s contributions to improving and advancing vascular care. He is a professor of surgery at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, professor of the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Policy and Clinical Research and chief medical officer for Fivos, VQI’s data management partner.

“The scholarship funds will help the next generation of vascular medicine scholars afford additional education and training and participate in patient-safety workshops that are essential to implementing best practices,” says Gary Lemmon, MD, SVS PSO associate medical director.

Since its inception in 2011, the SVS VQI has raised the bar for vascular care, quality improvement and patient outcomes. Today the Initiative includes participating medical centers, with more than 800 hospitals and ambulatory facilities contributing data on greater than 800,000 procedures on patients with vascular disease. More than 4,500 physicians have participated in the VQI’s 14 different vascular registries.

In addition to improving quality within hospitals and outpatient facilities, the VQI supports efforts to reduce costs and resource utilization as well as promoting vascular quality research.

VQI marks first decade with significant growth milestones

The VQI has marked its 10th anniversary. Fittingly, the initiative was holding its annual meeting in the two days prior to the anniversary date.

VQI provides oversight of data sharing arrangements, key outcome and quality measure analyses, and dissemination of information to participating providers.

Since its inception in 2011, VQI has emerged as a leading resource for vascular quality care and outcomes and has experienced multiple growth milestones, including:

  • A surge in participating medical centers, with more than 800 hospitals and ambulatory facilities overseeing 840,000+ procedures for individuals with vascular conditions
  • An expansion of provider partners, with more than 4,500 physicians, including vascular surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists and others, entering procedures into 14 different vascular registries
  • The creation of 18 Regional Quality Groups that meet on a semi-annual basis to review their data and discuss quality improvement projects
  • The establishment of an SVS VQI Annual Meeting, which celebrated its five-year anniversary as part of the SVS Vascular Annual Meeting
  • Increased utilization of Fivos’ Pathways clinical data performance platform to generate the real-time benchmarked reports of major clinical outcomes and process measures, as well as longitudinal tracking of center performance compared with regional and national standards
  • Collaboration with the FDA and manufacturers to better assess safety and efficacy of vascular devices
  • Expansion of clinical trials within the registry to facilitate a more efficient and cost-effective path for device analysis and reporting
  • Partnering with the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Society for Vascular Medicine, American Venous Forum, Society for Vascular Ultrasound and Vascular Access Society of America to better understand and improve the care of vascular patients
  • Creation of a new quality improvement training program for residents

In 2022, VQI leaders plan to expand the organization’s educational mission, through the implementation of new programs that connect the next generation of vascular professionals with the tools and data these professionals need to enhance clinical quality and patient outcomes.

“When we launched the VQI, there were few organizations that brought together the high level of clinical expertise, analytics and quality improvement focus that was essential in raising the bar for vascular care in the United States,” said Jorgensen.

“Moving forward, we will continue our efforts to strengthen analytics, reporting and data integration to relieve the burden of data entry, provide easier access to data for quality improvement and make data even more valuable for our members.”

In addition to improving quality within hospitals and outpatient facilities, the VQI supports efforts to reduce costs and resource utilization as well as promote efforts towards vascular quality research. VQI is governed by the SVS Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO), a wholly owned subsidiary of SVS. Learn more about SVS VQI at www.vqi.org.


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