What Is the NCDR and Why Is It Important?
With so many ongoing studies in the cardiovascular field today, one might wonder who is doing the research and where the patients come from. The simple answer is participating hospitals and leading cardiovascular associations in partnership with the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, or NCDR. The NCDR is operated by the American College of Cardiology. It promotes quality improvement through the collection and use of clinical data for benchmarking, as well as a means to develop and execute new protocols to improve the quality and care for patients nationwide. Over 2,000 hospitals participate in the NCDR programs, and there are more than ten million patient records. A new ambulatory care program was recently added to the NCDR registry, called the Improving Continuous Cardiovascular Care (IC3), which already includes over 600 offices across the United States. Below we highlight the NCDR registry’s role in benchmarking and improving quality across the cardiovascular sphere.
Why Is the NCDR Important?
With a mission centered around data collection to support quality improvement and better patient outcomes, The American College of Cardiology created the NCDR more than a decade ago. There are several primary reasons for the development of the NCDR registry. First, experts in the cardiovascular field were looking for an approach to better demonstrate leadership in defining and improving the quality of care. Next, it was recognized that individual hospitals and practices could collect their performance data but couldn’t accomplish regional or national benchmarking independently. Thirdly, data collection needs to be regulated for comparisons to be effective. Finally, the data collected should support measurements of care that reflect current and existing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and quality metrics.
Measurement is paramount in the cardiovascular field for quality improvement and better care outcomes for patients. Unfortunately, the tools and resources for effective improvement lack in this field, but the NCDR aims to solve this dilemma, addressing and answering questions like “How am I doing?” and “Am I getting better?”
The NCDR and the American College of Cardiology
Together with the American Heart Association, the ACC, and other cardiovascular organizations, the NCDR serves as professional guidelines, standards, and quality measures for cardiovascular disease. Today, the NCDR has expanded to include six registries, five to support hospitals, and one practice-based, including:
ACTION Registry®-GWTG™ for high-risk ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)/non-STEMI (NSTEMI) patients
CARE Registry® for carotid artery stenting and endarterectomy procedures
CathPCI Registry® for cardiac catheterization and PCI procedures
ICD Registry™ for tracking implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedures
IMPACT Registry™ for adult and pediatric congenital heart conditions
PINNACLE Registry®, a practice-based registry.
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