Quality Improvement for Institutions


Launched in 1997, the National Cardiovascular Data Registry is the largest, most comprehensive, outcomes-based cardiovascular patient data repository the U.S.

The NCDR includes eight hospital registries and two outpatient registries. Read more about the registries.

Hospitals and outpatient providers nationwide and across the world participate in the NCDR, providing real-time patient data on specific cardiac conditions. Currently, NCDR registries represent over 50 million patient records.

Participants of the hospital registries and the STS/ACC TVT Registry may choose to enter data through:

  • Certified NCDR software vendor – meeting the standards set forth by the NCDR for data collection, these vendors facilitate the submission of data to the NCDR on a quarterly basis. Certified software vendors offer a wide spectrum of functionality and features to meet the needs of each facility.
  • Free web-based data collection tool – allows hospitals to collect the most basic data for internal reporting without using a vendor.

PINNACLE Registry and Diabetes Collaborative Registry data is collected through:

  • Electronic health record (EHR) system integration – relevant registry data fields can be extracted from your EHR and transmitted to the PINNACLE Registry secure database
  • Certified PINNACLE Registry EHR – EHR vendors with PINNACLE Registry Submission Certification can export data directly to the PINNACLE Registry secure database
  • Web-based data collection tool – an online data collection tool for non-EHR practices

Learn more about data collection.

For the hospital registries, staff resources will be required to collect, enter and submit data. Hospitals approach this in a variety of ways. Commonly, a data manager is identified to facilitate collection and submission. Often, information technology skills, as well as clinical expertise are desired for data managers. For the PINNACLE Registry and Diabetes Collaborative Registry, staff requirements are minimal because data is most often transmitted to the registries through a practice’s electronic heath record system.

Hardware requirements differ among certified software and electronic heath record vendors. Please contact specific vendors for information. For participants using the NCDR’s complimentary web-based data collection tool, Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 9 or 10 or higher is recommended.

Data are submitted directly and securely to the NCDR and undergo rigorous electronic quality checks. A confidential Data Quality Report (DQR) is provided at the time of data submission. As long as the data are submitted before the quarterly deadline, the DQR informs the participant whether or not their data pass completeness criteria to be included in the Quality Outcomes Report and national averages. In the event data do not pass inclusion criteria, participants may clean their data and resubmit as often as needed until inclusion criteria are met. Data must be submitted by the quarterly deadline in order to be included in the Quality Outcomes Report.

As part of the NCDR’s commitment to quality data, a national on-site audit program is maintained. Annually, participants are randomly selected for on-site audits. Following the audit, each site receives a detailed report of the audit findings to assist with data collection improvements.

The data is used in both everyday practice and in research. The registries provide feedback to hospitals and practices in the form of benchmarked outcome reports that show how they are doing on an array of performance criteria. This feedback allows providers to identify areas for improvement and to track their progress, as well as allows physicians to directly apply patient-based research to their daily practice.

Data from the registry helps to facilitate studies that answer questions about how treatments work in the real world by providing data about large numbers of patients undergoing various procedures. Hundreds of research studies and scientific abstracts have been facilitated by NCDR data.

Hospital-specific and practice-specific registry data is not publicly available and the NCDR cannot provide data without written permission from the hospital or practice to do so. All hospitals participating in NCDR have a Hospital Profile established on ACC's CardioSmart.org website. As part of this effort, hospitals participating in the CathPCI Registry, Chest Pain – MI Registry and/or EP Device Implant Registry have the option to voluntarily report their data on specific quality measures and publically demonstrate their commitment to quality improvement via their hospital profile.

NCDR offers the NCDR eReports Corporate dashboard product to organizations such as health plans that interested in obtaining facility-level quality data from multiple health systems; consent of the participating NCDR sites must be obtained.

The registries are being used to support post market surveillance, as a platform for clinical trials, and being integrated into electronic health records. More advancement along these lines is expected as NCDR technologies progress to meet the changing needs of healthcare.

As the NCDR continues to grow domestically and internationally, the addition of new registry programs is anticipated in the future. Currently 15 hospitals and practices in five countries outside the U.S. participate in the NCDR and this number grows each year increasing NCDR's global impact.

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