SCAI publishes statement on standards for quality assessment and improvement in interventional cardiology


The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) announced the publication of recommendations for assessing and improving programme quality of percutaneous coronary intervention programmes at cardiac facilities. The statement appeared on 1 March 2011 in the peer-reviewed journal Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.


SCAI said that this is the first document offering guidance regarding core measures for quality and assessment in percutaneous coronary intervention programmes and is the latest tool for interventional cardiologists to use in their ongoing focus on improving patient care.


“This statement demonstrates the interventional cardiology community’s dedication to upholding quality standards and continually improving patient care, including what the specific components of a quality improvement programme should be,” said Lloyd W. Klein, professor of Medicine at Rush Medical College and lead author of the statement. “It is our responsibility as the physicians who perform interventions to actively participate in developing the tools to measure and report quality outcomes, and to ensure our patients always receive the highest quality care.”


The statement emphasises the need for every percutaneous coronary intervention programme to establish, and have backed by hospital resources, a cardiac catheterisation laboratory continuous quality improvement committee. This committee should be led by an experienced interventional cardiologist, whose task is to measure and assess quality based on: the structure of the system, the processes involved for improving results and the outcomes achieved.


“Interventional cardiologists have been at the forefront of quality improvement in medicine for decades as we recognise the process of improving quality for the best in patient care is always evolving and we must evolve with it,” said Larry S. president and director of the UW Medicine Regional Heart Center and professor of Medicine and Surgery at the UW School of Medicine. “This paper is an important reference tool for interventional cardiologists to ensure quality in the cath lab.”


The document is the first of a two-part statement developed by SCAI to address quality assessment and improvement in interventional cardiology. The second, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2011, will address public reporting, risk adjustment and the role of volume as an indicator for quality of care.


The full document can be found at