Allentown News

Published on May 15th, 2020

St. Luke’s Campuses Earn Highest Rating in Vascular Quality Program

The Society for Vascular Surgery’s Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) has awarded St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Bethlehem and Allentown campuses three stars for their active participation in the Registry Participation Program. The St. Luke’s campuses are the only facilities to receive the highest star rating from SVS VQI in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington DC.

The mission of the SVS VQI is to improve patient safety and the quality of vascular care delivery by providing web-based collection, aggregation and analysis of clinical data submitted in registry format for all patients undergoing specific vascular treatments. The VQI operates 14 vascular registries.

for all patients undergoing specific vascular treatments. The VQI operates 14 vascular registries. The participation awards program began in 2016 to encourage active participation in the registries program and to recognize the importance of that participation. St. Luke’s Anderson Campus received two stars for its participation in the program.

Participating centers can earn up to three stars based on actions that lead to better patient care, including:

  • The completeness of long-term, follow-up reporting, based on the percentage of patients for whom they have at least nine months of follow-up data
  • Physician attendance at semi-annual meetings of a regional quality group
  • Initiation of quality improvement activities based on VQI data
  • The number of vascular registries in which the center participates

VQI’s registries contain demographic, clinical, procedural and outcomes data from more than 670,000 vascular procedures performed in the U.S. and in Canada. Each record includes information from the patient’s initial hospitalization and at one-year follow-up.

The wealth of data allows centers and providers to compare their performance to regional and national benchmarks. All centers and providers receive biannual dashboards and regular performance reports so they can use their data to support quality improvement initiatives. .

“The vascular quality initiative, VQI, has been a great addition to the vascular surgery department at St. Luke’s. It has allowed us to track numerous metrics from our surgical procedures and thus initiate programs to improve our quality of care and patient outcomes,” says Timothy Oskin, MD, FACS, St. Luke’s section chief for vascular surgery.

St. Luke’s University Health Network biannual regional meetings allow physicians of different specialties, nurses, data managers, quality officers and others to meet, share information and ideas, and learn from each other in a positive and supportive environment. Members have used VQI data to significantly improve the delivery of vascular care at local, regional and national levels, reducing complications and expenses.

“Hard-working, dedicated organizations such as St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Bethlehem and Allentown campuses are key to the success of the vascular registries,” said VQI Medical Director Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, MD. “The work we do to build and maintain the registries for researcher use is crucial to health and outcomes for vascular patients. Like the old saying says, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.’”

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