• Quality Matters — A Bi-Weekly News Bulletin

    Curated by Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence, the Quality Matters newsletter collects and briefly summarizes the latest news affecting quality in cardiovascular care from a wide range of sources. Quality Matters is your bi-weekly news brief with a focus on quality assurance and quality improvement in the cardiac cath lab, electrophysiology, and more.

  • Quality Matters: Impactful Implications from Outcomes-Focused Insights

    Impactful Implications - 8/16/19

    Outcomes-focused research made news across cardiovascular care disciplines in the past few weeks, ultimately with impactful implications for all practitioners and programs. One study points out the potential impact of taking cardiac rehabilitation "to the next level," as individualized rehab provides an opportunity for service lines to improve outcomes across the board. Plus, a large qualitative study offers insight into top-performers in responding to in-hospital cardiac arrest. Read more »

    Do Labels Impact Outcomes? - 7/22/19

    In cardiology, not all quality labels are created equal. In a previous edition, we took a look at how a 2018 report found patient outcomes were no better in Joint Commission-Accredited Hospitals than in peers. Our review of the latest news in cardiovascular care turned up two more articles concerned with quality labels and their impact on outcomes: 'Center of Excellence' designations from payors might not mean much, but process of care scores from public hospital performance reports may. And speaking of labels, we also found insights on quality from Phoenix Children's Hospital which owns a rarefied three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Read more »

    Accreditation's Impact on Variability - 5/1/19

    We know that reducing variability improves quality and reduces cost. In this week's Quality Matters, we break down several research studies from the past 15 years to take a deeper look at a quality accreditation process and its impact on variability. We've identified studies that analyze accreditation engagement and motivation, critical success factors for quality assurance, and Washington State's approach to reducing variability via its Surgical Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program (2005). Read more »

    Lessons from Accreditation & ACC - 3/18/19

    Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence was proud to be recognized at the American College of Cardiology 2019 Quality Summit for our poster presentation, Lessons from Accreditation Action Plans: Common Areas for Quality Improvement in the Cardiac Cath Lab, and we also brought back a bit more insight into quality cardiac care from the conference. Read more »

    Signaling Quality at Scale - 2/21/19

    Hospital mergers negatively affect quality of care, and hospitals where physicians are employed perform no better on many quality measures than hospitals where physicians are contracted say two high profile articles from last week. These stories and another from October provide important insight into macro-scale quality improvement and signaling, and we take a look at how ACE accreditation, with its micro-focus on the things that matter for quality, can help even large systems implement continuous quality improvement and avoid these pitfalls. Read more »

    All Things PAD - 2/8/19

    This week, we've found a number of stories with important insights into the medical management of peripheral artery disease—including expert analysis from ACC Snowmass 2019 with several significant takeaways, a possibly "potent" index for PAD risk stratification, an update on Paclitaxel-coated balloons, and a feature on the latest PAD tech. Read more »

    How to Excel in Cardiovascular - 1/24/19

    An article from November in Modern Healthcare organizes our thoughts this week, as it becomes harder to achieve recognition as a top cardiovascular hospital. We explore what it takes—like constantly improving (note: ACE quality review and accreditation can help)—and some other news which might help focus quality improvement efforts for peripheral vascular intervention and the TEE examination. Read more »

    AUC & End-of-Year Tidbits - 12/20/18

    As always, Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence is focused on quality. We're obliged to recap newly released appropriate use criteria for peripheral artery intervention, of course, but we've also got a troubling look at potential upcoding of unstable angina—reportedly related to AUC released in 2009. In better news, we take a look at significantly positive device news, as well as insight on clinical management of suspected CAD. Read more »

    Clinical Strategy & Precision Medicine - 12/4/18

    This week, our quality-focused cardiology news brief examines clinical management strategies for patients with heart failure or atrial fibrillation, and also demonstrates the value of precision medicine approaches to care. Read more »

    AHA Sessions & Key Predictors - 11/26/18

    In the haze of the holidays, it may be easy to forget groundbreaking developments from the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions earlier in November, and other developments affecting how we measure and address patient risk and quality cardiovascular care. The ACE Quality Matters News Brief is here as a much needed, quality-focused refresher. Read more »

    PCI Costs & Risk In-Focus - 11/5/18

    In this week's Quality Matters news brief, two separate studies identify strategies to augment the value and improve outcomes of PCI, saving around $5,000 per procedure, while another identifies a risk factor with a significant affect on outcomes. Breaking news suggests Coronary Artery Calcium scoring identifies patients most likely to benefit from a statin regimen. Read more »

    High Quality, Low Cost Connected - 10/24/18

    Three very different articles caught our attention as relates to quality cardiovascular care. Lower cost and higher quality are connected when hospitals focus on reducing unnecessary care variations. Accreditation could help with that. Plus, a Stanford University MD calls professional society guidelines into question, and results from a new study land on the side of complete revascularization. Read more »

    Physician Burnout and Quality - 10/15/18

    This week, we take a look at an important issue affecting the quality of care in cardiology and in health care at large—physician burnout. A new meta-analysis provides further evidence that burnout negatively affects the quality of care. We explore some views on physician burnout, and we also ask the question: could quality-focused and supportive accreditation, like Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence, help prevent physician burnout? What does physician burnout cost to organizations? Could artificial intelligence help hospitals manage physician burnout? Read more »

    Surprising Findings and More - 10/3/18

    News brief with shocking findings presented at two major conferences, and more recent stories you might have missed. Does MitraClip produce positive results, or not? Should CTCA be the first-line imaging test for stable chest pain? And what "tools and tricks" improve outcomes in PCI? Read more »

    PCI-Focused News Brief - 9/24/18

    This week, our Quality Matters news brief found three articles affecting or related to quality in PCI—and one related to how supportive accreditation can promote positive outcomes. Should 30-day readmissions be used to evaluate PCI? Why is the gender gap in PCI still so wide? And why does the cath lab fail to preactivate for a majority of STEMI Cases? Read more »