The American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) plays a key role in letting centers know how they’re doing and where they can improve, but its impact could be even greater, experts say.

A new state-of-the-art review examining the integrity of the data within the NCDR’s collection of ten hospital-based and outpatient registries concludes that the “registry data are complete” and that the “accuracy is very good but variable,” according to authors.

“We ultimately think it’s a great asset," said Dr. John Spertus, Clinical Director of Outcomes Research at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. "It forms the foundation not only for knowing how you are doing, but also for understanding whether or not there are racial or gender disparities in outcomes. It allows hospitals to figure out whether or not they need to really focus on a quality-improvement program to reduce complications of angioplasty, etc. There’s just so much value in it to the hospitals.” 

However, he said, “I don’t think it’s being optimally recognized or exploited. And the more hospitals perceive this as being really valuable to the way they do business, the more likely they are to be happy to participate and pay for the data collection that NCDR requires.”

If centers start dropping out to save on costs because the value of participation isn’t clear, “that would be very bad for the practice of high-quality cardiovascular care . . . and I ultimately think it would be bad for patient care,” Spertus said.

Read the full TCTMD article: The NCDR Has Made a Difference, but Experts See Room for Growth

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