VAHI’S clinical quality registry (CQR) program aims to create and share meaningful information to identify benchmarks and variation in clinical outcomes, inform clinical practice and decision-making, and ultimately improve the quality and safety of care provided in Victoria’s health services.
Among several CQRs funded by VAHI is the Victorian Cardiac Outcomes Registry (VCOR). This is a statewide collection aiming to improve the quality of care provided to patients with cardiovascular disease.
Since its inception in 2012, VCOR’s program of active feedback to Victorian hospitals has resulted in significant reductions in delays to acute heart attack treatment for those patients that require emergency treatment.
In particular, VCOR monitors adherence to evidence-based clinical guidelines for all of the 32 Victorian public and private hospitals that perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This is a non-surgical intervention that uses a catheter to place a small structure called a stent to open up-blood vessels in the heart to improve blood flow.
A measure of the time taken from a patient’s arrival to hospital to the successful completion of PCI is known as ‘door-to-balloon time (DBT)’.
VCOR results in 2019 demonstrated that the median DBT for all Victorian hospitals for primary PCI was 58 minutes, an improvement of 5 minutes since 2017, and 10 minutes since 2014.
Public and private hospitals across Victoria are now routinely using a range of information from VCOR to help treat their heart attack patients by feeding back the data to their clinicians and making active improvements in the hospital care provided.
A good example of this is Mulgrave Private Hospital which has been active in comprehensively integrating VCOR’s data into their continuous quality improvement activities since becoming involved with the registry in June 2016.
“Prior to then, we audited our cardiac morbidity and mortality as most facilities would, but since we only met twice a year, there were substantial delays in identifying and addressing clinical problems,” said Dr Jodie-Ann Senior, Director of Cardiology at Mulgrave Private Hospital.
After joining VCOR, the hospital employed nurse clinician Cate Stevens as a dedicated data manager to oversee the hospital’s performance relating to early heart attack. Cate’s data allows the hospital to quickly pinpoint weaknesses and discrepancies in their processes for acute myocardial infarction management and audit their own patient outcomes against state benchmarks.
Commenting on her role as data manager, “It gives us a lot of confidence to see that our results are well in line with the larger public and private hospitals”, she said.
With dedicated resources and support from VCOR, Mulgrave Private Hospital has substantially reduced delays in the treatment for heart attack patients.
For more information about VAHI’s CQR program, please contact Louise Kelly, Acting Manager of Clinical Registries and Patient Reported Outcomes via firstname.lastname@example.org.