SC VOICe Bylaws

Southern California Vascular Outcomes Improvement Collaborative

l.  Mission Statement

The Southern California Vascular Outcomes Improvement Collaborative (SoCal VOICe) is a voluntary, cooperative group of clinicians, nurses, hospital administrators and research personnel organized to improve the care of patients with vascular disease.  By collecting and exchanging information, SoCal VOICe strives to continuously improve the quality, safety, effectiveness and cost of caring for vascular healthcare

II.  Membership

Hospitals or Physician groups  that participate in the Society for Vascular Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO) are eligible for membership in the SoCal VOICe if they are located in Southern California..   Any new contracting entity in this geopgraphic area who contractually elects to join the SoCal VOICe is automatically a welcome member. Membership requires that the member hospital and physicians follow the policies and procedures established by SoCal VOICe (see Section VII).Physicians, physician group or hospital which is approved for membership is hereinafter referred to as a “SoCal VOICe Member”. Clinicians, hospital administrators, data managers, and research personnel who participate in the SoCal VOICe are termed “Participants.”  All physicians who perform procedures recorded by SoCal VOICe within a member hospital or physician group are considered part of SoCal VOICe.

III.  Contracts

SoCal VOICe is an unincorporated association of  Members that are contracted with the Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO).  Contracts are required between members and the SVS PSO and M2S Inc.  The Southern California Vascular Surgery Society (SCVSS), is the fiduciary agent for SoCal VOICe.  SVS PSO is a Patient Safety Organization, as defined by The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) of 2005 (Public Law 109-41), implemented to protect the confidentiality of all data and resulting patient safety work product.  SVS PSO is a limited liability company established by the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS).  M2S, Inc. provides web-based services to SVS PSO and thus to SoCal VOICe Members. Under the relevant agreements with each member, SVS PSO performs regional data management services for members, as requested by the SoCal VOICe Quality Committee.

Each SoCal VOICe Member must have contracts with SVS PSO and M2S Inc. that affirm adherence to the SoCal VOICe Bylaws.  In addition, the Executive Committee may establish an annual fee for SoCal VOICe Members to fund semiannual meetings and SoCal VOICe staff, which is paid to the SCVSS.

IV. Committees and Staff

1)     Executive Committee:

The business of the SoCal VOICe shall be managed by or under the direction of an Executive Committee (EC). The EC manages and conducts the business of the SoCal VOICe and makes all decisions on behalf of SoCal VOICe, including oversight of budgets, contracts, publications and relationships with outside parties, requests for membership, and the general direction of the association.  In the event of a vacancy in the Executive Committee, the remaining members of the Executive Committee may exercise the powers of the full Executive Committee until the vacancy is filled.  The Executive Committee may designate other committees as necessary to conduct the business of SoCal VOICe.  The Executive Committee is chaired by the Medical Director who also represents SoCal VOICe on the SVS PSO Governing Council.

The SoCal VOICe EC consists of one representative appointed by each SoCal VOICe hospital or physician group of three or more practitioners, as well as the Medical Director.  All are voting members of the Committee.  The Executive Committee may meet in person, or by conference call or email. Meetings may be called by the Medical Director, or at the request of any other two members of the EC. The Executive Committee oversees the interaction of SoCal VOICe with the SCVSS.  It approves research studies and publications as recommended by the Quality Committee, relationships with outside parties, requests for membership, de-identified data distribution for research or sale to commercial entities and the general direction of the SoCal VOICe.

A quorum of the EC which consists of representatives of at least fifty percent of the SoCal VOICe  Membersis necessary to conduct business.  A majority vote of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum exists is required to pass resolutions.  In the event that an EC member cannot attend a meeting, the hospital or physician group may designate an alternate, who shall have full voting rights.  Minutes of the EC meetings are distributed electronically or via the SCVSS website to all physician members of the SoCal VOICe.

2) Arterial/Venous Quality Committee:
The SoCal VOICe Quality Committees (QC’s)consists of members of SoCal VOICe,  Participants, including a Chair appointed by the Medical Director with approval of the EC. The term of membership and number of members is determined by the EC.  The mission of the QC’’s is to oversee quality improvement efforts in SoCal VOICe. This includes the development of specific quality improvement projects for approval by the EC organizing quality presentations at SoCal VOICe semi-annual meetings; developing practice guidelines, care plans, and other clinical aids; revising data collection forms and reports; reviewing regional data to identify areas for quality improvement. The Chairs of the Arterial and Venous Quality Committee represents the interests of all SoCal VOICe Members to each SVS PSO Quality Committee.

3) Research Advisory Committee (RAC):

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) consists of SoCal VOICe Participants, including a Chair, appointed by the Medical Director with approval of the EC.  Members of the RAC will have interest and expertise in the design, conduct, interpretation, and presentation of analytic projects involving data collected by the SoCalVOICe.  The term of membership and number of members is determined by the EC.  The mission of the RAC is to facilitate the conduct of quality improvement research by SoCalVOICe Participants.  The RAC will review research proposals from SoCal VOICe Participants that request SoCal VOICe non-identifiable regional datasets that are derived from the SVS PSO.  The RAC will work with researchers to ensure that proposed research projects are novel, central to the SoCal VOICe mission, have an appropriate analytic plan, are correctly interpreted, and are properly presented and published.  At least one RAC member will serve as an author on every research product generated by SoCal VOICe Participants, and it will be the responsibility of the RAC member(s) to ensure that the researchers act appropriately within the RAC’s policies and procedures.  The RAC will make recommendations to the EC as to whether each research project should be approved. The chair of the regional RAC will represent SoCal VOICe on the SVS PSO National RAC.

4) Staff:

a) The Medical Director is a vascular surgeon nominated by the EC and elected by a majority vote of the full membership of the EC to a three year renewable term.  The Medical Director chairs theEC, prepares the agenda for SoCal VOICe meetings, prepares an annual budget and is responsible for the overall operations of the SoCal VOICe between meetings of the ECThe Medical Director will represent SoCal VOICe on the SVS PSO National Governing Council unless the EC decides to elect someone else in the region.

b) Staff Members may be hired by the EC to meet organizational and analytical needs of SoCal VOICe, or such services may be contracted from an outside entity. Staff members are selected by the Medical Director with approval by the EC and their percentage effort and associated salary are set by theEC , consistent with the annual budget. SoCal VOICe. Staff may include but are not restricted to:

i. Project Manager, who is responsible for day-to-day operation of the SoCal VOICe under the supervision of the Medical Director, including but not limited to support to members regarding web-based data submission and report generation, as well as preparing for SoCal VOICe meetings, coordinating quality improvement activities and all other operational functions of the group.

ii. Epidemiologist, who is responsible for oversight of the analytic and statistical functions of the group.

iii. Statistician, who is responsible for the analyses of data necessary to conduct quality improvement activities.

V. Shared Registry Data Ownership

Each SoCal VOICe Member owns the data that it submits to the SoCal VOICe registry via the SVS PSO, and is entitled to specify and control the use of its data in the manner set forth in the SVS PSO Contract.  Thus, any use of a SoCal VOICe Member data by the SoCal VOICe for purposes other than quality improvement research or any of the standard quality assurance functions performed by the SoCal VOICe shall require the prior consent of the SoCal VOICe Member, in the manner set forth in the SoCal VOICe Member Contract.

VI.  Policies

The following principles guide the function of the SoCal VOICe and must be adhered to by all Members and Participants:

  • All activities of the SoCal VOICe must be consistent with the mission statement above. All data reports that compare physicians or hospitals must be anonymous.
  • Each physician member must submit data for all consecutive procedures that are recorded by SoCal VOICe and must agree to submit office claims data on a periodic basis to allow an audit to ensure accurate and complete data entry.
  • Each SoCal VOICe Member agrees to submit ICD-9 based claims data on a periodic basis to allow an audit to ensure accurate and complete data entry.
  • Each physician member must submit complete data forms, including all elements of the SoCal VOICe registry for all eligible procedures, using a web-based system approved by the SoCal VOICe, including follow-up data at one year, or other time points established by the SoCal VOICe.
  • Each SoCal VOICe Member and Participant agrees that comparative data can never be used for competitive marketing. SoCal VOICe Members own their own data, and can publish such data with the indication that it has been audited by the SoCal VOICe.  However, they may not publish data provided in benchmarking reports that compares their hospital or practice with other groups in the SoCal VOICe, consistent with the PSQIA.
  • Each SoCal VOICe Member and Participant must agree to follow the confidentiality rules of the PSQIA which is designed to prevent the disclosure of any patient identifiable information, as well as any hospital or physician identifiable information. Further, each SoCal VOICe Member agrees to follow all regulations contained within the Hospital Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA).
  • Failure to adhere to these policies may result in loss of membership in SoCal VOICe for an individual physician, physician group or hospital, if so determined by a majority vote of the EC.

VII.  Research

Analyses will be regularly performed by SoCal VOICe to provide feedback to member hospitals and physicians for purposes of quality improvement.  These may yield useful information that could benefit the medical community at large, and warrant scientific publication or presentation.  Proposals for specific research projects using shared regional data may be made by any SoCal VOICe Member, and shall be considered by the Quality Committee.  The Quality Committee will consider and make recommendations concerning proposed research projects to the Executive Committee.  If approved by the Executive Committee such projects may proceed.  All SoCal VOICe Members conducting such research agree to abide by all SoCal VOICe confidentiality rules, all HIPAA regulations, and all PSQIA regulations that are relevant to protecting the privacy of both patients and the member hospitals and physicians, none of whom shall be identified in any publication. All resulting publications and presentations shall be authored by the specific participating individuals from SoCal VOICe and carry the author byline “on behalf of the Southern California Vascular Outcomes Improvement Collaborative (SoCal VOICe).” Each participant in such research must sign a statement that attests to these agreements.

VIII.  Amendments

Bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the full membership of the Executive Committee, provided that such amendments are circulated electronically and on the SCVSS website at least 30 days prior to their consideration.  Any amendments published on the SCVSS website shall be deemed incorporated herein by reference.

(Updated 12/9/2016)