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    Three Steps for a Quality, Proactive Cardiovascular Cath Lab Peer Review

    Sheree Schroeder, MSN, RN, RDCS, FASE, Director of Peer Review Services at Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE)

    As cardiac cath lab professionals, we must ensure quality for our patients. Through nationally published guidelines, we perform concisely and consistently to ensure the best outcomes.

    Today, cardiology procedures are scrutinized more than ever, creating an imperative to ensure high-quality programs. Implementing a proactive peer review program for your cardiovascular program is one of the key elements to ensure quality outcomes. 

    Peer review is the evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field. When cardiac cath labs (CCLs) institute peer review, many struggle with the issue of how to design the peer review process to guarantee the best cardiac care for each patient. Designing and implementing any new process starts with strong leadership. Leadership establishes the framework necessary to ensure the sanctity of exceptional, patient-centric quality care.

    The challenges of implementing an effective cardiology peer review program include:

    • Designing an objective, measureable, timely process;
    • Engaging all cardiovascular clinicians and team members in the quality outcomes initiative;
    • Reducing complexity of the process, keeping it as simple and as possible;
    • Addressing nationally published recommendations and guidelines, i.e.,  Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) documentation;
    • Validating the peer review process in the changing healthcare environment.

    Partnering with the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) takes cath labs from good to great in achieving quality patient care by:

    • Elevating the performance of the CCL through appropriate care integration;
    • Delivering third-party validation, including effective peer review;
    • Engaging physicians in the quality outcomes process;
    • Helping to mitigate risk.