February 15, 2017 – The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano (THHBP) is one of only 42 of 317 eligible health care facilities in the United States to receive 3 Stars – the highest score possible – during the Society of Vascular Surgery’s 2016 Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) Participation Awards. It is the second consecutive year THHBP has received the 3 Star honor, which recognizes the importance of tracking and reporting outcomes of patients who have had vascular procedures.
“Participating in the VQI allows us to track and benchmark our performance in vascular surgery on a regional and national level,” explains Dennis Gable, MD, chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at THHBP. “We use the VQI to affirm that we are meeting or exceeding the expectations for quality set by the Society for Vascular Surgery, which ultimately helps promote quality outcomes for patients.”
To earn 3 Stars in the VQI Participation Awards, recipients had to display a high level of commitment to long-term follow-up reporting, have vascular surgeons on the medical staff attend regional quality meetings and report results of various vascular procedures in VQI’s databases.
Long-term follow-up has been a particular area of emphasis, as it can be a challenging process because it involves tracking the results of additional testing, imaging procedures and/or physician’s visits up to 12 months after the vascular procedure is performed. THHBP excelled in this category with a long-term follow-up reporting rate of 81 percent – 20 points higher than the VQI national average of 61 percent.
“When we perform a procedure, we want our patients to continue to do well not just for a day or two after surgery, but for a long time after leaving the hospital,” says Dr. Gable. Long-term follow-up is an important metric to track a patient’s health long after he or she has left the hospital. The information gained through this type of reporting may potentially translate into process improvements.
THHBP, home to one of the busiest vascular surgery programs in the country, reports outcomes in six VQI national databases, including databases for: carotid artery stents, carotid endarterectomy, endovascular aneurysm repair, open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair and infrainguinal bypass.
“Any time we have a chance to improve quality over and above what it already is, we want to do it,” says Dr. Gable. “Participating in the VQI is one avenue that allows us to do that.”
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano or Baylor Health Care System.