As an accrediting body, Corazon works with dozens of cardiovascular programs across the country. Through this process, we review clinical quality outcomes data and provide feedback to the programs, finding opportunities for improvement and working with cardiovascular leaders to create and monitor performance improvement plans, as necessary, based upon their data. Using data to drive performance improvement is a powerful tool, and having a third-party review data is a “best-practice” approach.
Data outcomes from national registries provide an objective benchmark in which cardiovascular programs can measure their performance. Hospitals are able to benchmark themselves to hospitals of similar sizes, as well as to the nation at large. This is important to understand when improvements should be put into place. Striving to be above the 75th – and even the 90th – percentiles should be the goal of every CV program.
If a program notices that they have performed below the 90th percentile, they should look into the reasons why – especially if this is a trend. There could be a process, communication, or operations issue that the leadership team needs to explore. After all, performing below the 90th percentile only puts the patients at risk. Data provides a prime opportunity to revolutionize, reform, and update policies and procedures.
A specific example that we have run into on several occasions while accrediting cardiovascular catheterization labs to perform percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) is the number of PCIs that are performed within 90 minutes for STEMI patients. A program could realize that they are not meeting this mark 100% of the time. Looking into the data further may help the program to realize why they didn’t meet this goal. They may be able to notice a trend – maybe EKGs aren’t being performed in a timely manner when the patient arrives to the ED, there may be a lag in getting a patient to the cath lab, or the staff isn’t getting to the lab on time to perform the PCI. Regardless of the reason, realizing that they are falling short of the goal is just one scenario as to how data can be the driver for overall performance improvement.
Outcomes data provides a hospital the opportunity to implement and monitor quality improvement initiatives, which will improve patient outcomes as well as the bottom-line. A successful cardiovascular program is always striving for excellence and looking for ways to further improve the way care is delivered. Data is a great way to drive change. After all, providing exceptional patient care should be THE number one goal. Consistently exceeding the 90th percentile is a way to ensure that this overarching programmatic goal is being met.
Choosing accreditation – and as a result, having a third-party review data – will make a difference with clinical, operational, and financial success.
To learn more about Corazon’s Levels of Accreditation, register for TOMORROW’s webinar, The Levels of Accreditation: An Introductory Look