Who We Are:
The Carolinas Vascular Quality Group is a voluntary cooperative group of vascular disease specialists in North Carolina and South Carolina dedicated to improving outcomes and advancing the care of vascular patients. Our group includes Vascular Surgeons, Vascular Medicine physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, scientists and research personnel. We are a part of the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (SVSVQI) which is a national network of regional vascular quality improvement groups collecting common core datasets to pool information that will lead to improved patient care.
What We Do:
The first step in our process is collecting data on patients with vascular disease that we take care of. The data includes patient demographics and characteristics, procedure related details, post-procedure outcomes and long-term follow-up. The data is collected through the M2S PATHWAYS clinical data platform, a secure, web-based data collection and analysis system, manufactured by the corporation M2S in partnership with vascular specialists.
Data is collected under the auspices of the SVS PSO. This allows us to collect patient-identified data to be able to match with the Social Security Death Index to determine long-term outcomes and for auditing complete data entry by comparison with hospital billing data. The PSO protects the data from legal discovery and insures confidentiality of collected patient data. The PSO process is administered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
The data is then used to benchmark individual practitioners and institutions against each other. For selected procedures and patient care issues, quality goals are set for the group. At any time, physicians or hospitals can run reports on how they are performing with respect to the set goals as well as relative to other members of the group.
The data is further investigated in order to fill in gaps in knowledge that exist about vascular diseases and their treatment. We will compare the effectiveness of various treatment approaches to vascular problems. Some of the questions that will be addressed are:
- racial disparities in outcomes of vascular procedures
- adjunctive techniques in the management of vascular problems
Why We Do This:
The process of data collection allows each participant to quantitatively track his/her outcomes. Benchmarking enables each participant to assess quality of care relative to other institutions and detect areas for improvement. The collaborative approach facilitates the free exchange of techniques and ideas so that we can learn from each other. The pooling of data allows for analyses of best practice which would not be possible using only cases from individual institutions. All of this allows us to achieve our ultimate goal of providing vascular patients with the highest quality of care while achieving the best possible outcomes in a cost-effective fashion.
For the Bylaws of the Carolinas Vascular Quality Group, please see the link below: