Victorian Hospitals will be better equipped to measure the quality of care for their cardiac patients, under a new project that collects and compares data on coronary angioplasty practice.
The Victorian Cardiac Outcomes Registry (VCOR), officially launched by The Victorian Minister of Health, David Davis this morning, represents an unprecedented collaboration of all Victorian public hospitals and most private hospitals offering coronary angioplasty services.
Coordinated by Monash University and the Victorian Cardiac Clinical Network, the new registry collects information on every patient undergoing an angioplasty procedure. The technique, which utilises balloons and stents, has become the most common method for unblocking coronary arteries and is performed on more than 8,000 Victorians each year.
The Honorable Mr Davis joined Monash University's Head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Professor John McNeil in officially releasing VCOR's inaugural Annual Report at the launch held at The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct this morning.
Professor McNeil said the centralised, state-wide registry would help ensure that cardiac patients receive the highest quality of care.
"Successful treatment of cardiovascular disease requires a combination of medical expertise and an organised and functional health care system," he said.
"As the database develops over time, it will provide a crucial opportunity for health care providers to benchmark their performance against services both nationally and internationally. Ultimately, we expect this to result in more consistent, best practice cardiac care across the Victorian health sector," said Professor McNeil.
As the number one cause of death and disability in Australia, cardiovascular disease represents an ongoing challenge for Victoria's healthcare system.
Since its inception in January 2013, VCOR has recruited 23 of the 29 Victorian public and private hospitals to the project. The registry includes a record of the number of procedures performed, clinical profiles of patients, any complications that develop and the outcomes of these procedures.
The ultimate aim of the project, co-funded by Medibank Private and the Department of Health, Victoria, is to ensure that the highest quality of care is delivered to all cardiac patients throughout the state.
Medibank's Executive General Manager of Provider Networks and Integrated Care Dr Andrew Wilson said Medibank was pleased to support the establishment of the register.
"Medibank is committed to improving quality outcomes for patients, and are proud to be involved in VCOR which will play a major role in establishing best patient outcomes and best practices in addressing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Victoria," Dr Wilson said.
Under the VCOR project, information will be collated into quarterly reports and provided to the hospitals, which will allow them to benchmark their performance against one another and identify areas that may require change and improvement.
The registry plans to expand its activities beyond coronary angioplasty and has already implemented a pilot project for monitoring the management of early ST-elevation myocardial infarction in regional Victoria. VCOR is also planning to reach into other cardio-therapeutic areas including heart failure, implantable devices and arrhythmias.