Frequently Asked Questions about the VQI
Below are frequently asked questions regarding the VQI.
For FAQs regarding legal information and the contracting process, see FAQs regarding contracting with both the SVS PSO and M2S.
What is the relationship between the SVS, AVF, and M2S?
The mission of VQI is to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness and cost of vascular health care by collecting and exchanging information. It consists of the Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO), regional quality improvement groups accredited by the SVS PSO, and a cloud-based database managed by M2S. The VQI collects data on arterial and venous procedures.
- The SVS is the sole owner of the SVS PSO and provides comparative data analysis and oversight of quality improvement activities for the VQI. The regional quality groups accredited by the SVS PSO meet semi-annually to share data collected by their individual sites and initiate quality improvement projects that impact patient care and reduce costs.
- The American Venous Forum (AVF) is an official endorser of the VQI, and all venous activities within the VQI are jointly sponsored by SVS and AVF. The AVF holds seats on the SVS PSO Governing Council as well on the SVS PSO Venous Quality Committee. The AVF will play a central role in developing the data forms and benchmarking reports for venous interventions and will lead the analytic efforts through the SVS PSO Venous Quality Committee.
- M2S is the exclusive technology provider of the VQI. The M2S PATHWAYS clinical data performance platform provides real-time data capture and reporting capabilities for arterial and venous procedures.
Who can participate in the VQI?
Any physician performing procedures included in any VQI Registry in the U.S. and Canada can participate, as an individual, a physician group, vein center, hospital, or health system.
What is the role of the regional quality groups?
Centers participating in the VQI are strongly encouraged to participate in a regional quality group as a way to improve the quality of vascular care by analyzing and reporting outcomes based on use of a common registry. Each regional quality group that is approved by the SVS PSO for participation has a Quality Committee under the umbrella of the SVS PSO to oversee the protected patient safety work performed on regional data. Regional quality groups have their own governing structure, usually including an executive committee and a research advisory committee to review and approve distribution of regional de-identified data for research.
Over 400 centers in the United States and Canada participate in VQI Registries. Regional quality groups have been established in New England, the Carolinas, the Southeast, the South, Southern California, Northern California, the Virginias, the Rocky Mountains, Greater New York, Mid-America, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Michigan, Upper Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes.
The SVS PSO can assist with the development of a regional quality group by identifying and recruiting interested institutions, providing informational materials and product demonstrations, and helping organize initial meetings.
How does the VQI better the practice of vascular medicine?
The VQI positions SVS and AVF as leaders in vascular quality improvement by providing a platform for their members to analyze outcomes, determine best practices, and collaborate with peers on quality improvement efforts regionally and nationally. The medical profession as whole benefits by advancing the understanding of specific treatment options for vascular disease, ultimately, benefiting vascular patients.
The VQI provides data collection for both arterial and venous procedures in a single platform.
Can I have access to de-identified data for research, and if so, how do I gain access to the data?
You must be participating in a VQI Registry to have access to de-identified data for research. If you want to access de-identified research data from participating centers within your regional group, you need to gain approval through your regional group quality committee of the SVS PSO.
If you would like to do a cross-regional or national research project, you will need to gain approval through the quality committee of the SVS PSO, and each regional group contributing data must approve the project and be represented on the study design and writing committee.
Can the VQI integrate with my EMR/Clinical System?
For an additional fee, M2S provides integration of the General and Demographic information from your clinical system into the M2S PATHWAYS database. The SVS PSO and M2S are currently engaging with EMR vendors to encourage them to incorporate VQI data elements into the EMR so that all data can be transferred from the EMR to the SVS PSO in the future.
How does contracting work with the SVS PSO and M2S?
There are two contracts, one with the SVS PSO and one with M2S for the M2S PATHWAYS database management services. All contracting is facilitated through M2S, and both agreements are required in order to participate in the VQI Registries.
How does contracting and pricing work for hospitals with more than one participating center?
There will be one contract per hospital or health system. Fees are calculated per institution’s annual procedure volume regardless of whether the contract is with an individual institution or multi-center health system.
What are the benefits to my participation in the VQI Registries?
Individual physicians benefit by receiving individual benchmarked quality reports, and this activity is approved as meeting Part 4 of the American Board of Surgery’s Maintenance of Certification requirement.
Also, M2S’s PATHWAYS clinical data performance platform collects data to meet the requirements for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’s (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Carotid Artery Stent Facility Recertification.
All providers of vascular health care and their respective institutions are encouraged to join the VQI.