The question of how to ensure quality in catheter procedures in children was the topic of this month’s Grand Rounds lecture at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q).
Cardiac catheterization in infants and children is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat certain heart conditions. It involves an interventional cardiologist placing a long thin tube into a blood vessel that leads to the heart.
Dr. Ralf Holzer, Director, Cardiac Catheterization & Interventional Therapy, Division Chief Cardiology (Acting) at Sidra Medical and Research Center, said that prior to 2003, there were no standardized processes for reporting outcomes and risk adjustment in cardiac catheterization.
This began to change when Boston Children’s Hospital started to record detailed data from its own procedures and used this data to compare outcomes between operators. Other institutions joined the initiative and formed the ‘Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Project on Outcomes’ (C3PO), a prospective registry on catheterization procedures, he explained.
Dr. Holzer went on to explain that every hospital could begin quality assurance and improvement programs, simply by collating information on a local level and ensuring it is monitored and shared with the relevant physicians and management. He said that the data capture should be consistent but emphasized that quality assurance and continuous quality improvement should not be seen as punitive. Instead it should be seen as a method of allowing individuals and programs identify potential areas for improvement.