Assessing quality in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
Quality assurance and improvement have increasingly been the focus of health care providers, third-party payers, and patients. Because cardiovascular procedures are common, easily identifiable with claims data, and account for a relatively large proportion of health care expenditures, particular attention has been paid to quality assurance in the setting of the diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization laboratory. The structure, process, and outcomes domains of quality measurement in the interventional laboratory involve the maintenance of volume standards, the availability of surgical backup, consistent tracking of procedural outcomes and complications so they can be compared with national standards, and the application of evidence-based therapy. Quality assurance i the diagnostic laboratory revolves around the clinical proficiency of the operators, the maintenance and management of catheterization laboratory equipment, and the presence of a continuous quality improvement program. The evolution of interventional equipment and techniques along with the establishment of national registries has led to a gradual improvement in the quality of percutaneous coronary intervention. Given the dynamic nature of cardiology, adaptable quality assurance and quality improvement programs will remain the foundation of successful catheterization labs.
Rao, SV; Jollis, JG; Sketch, MH
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