Clinical Quality Improvement

Transformational Healthcare

Senior Executives and clinicians are actively preparing for rapid change in healthcare delivery and compensation.  At HeartSource, quality is the primary goal; for us and our affiliates’ evolving cardiac programs. New programs undergo a comprehensive site assessment.  Working with the Executive Leadership, the affiliation’s strategic goals are determined.  A periodic reassessment is completed and the relationship evolves to maximize the program’s potential.  Through this hands-on approach, an environment for expeditious transformation is fostered.  Although there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach, quality is facilitated through on-site conferences, external peer review, real-time 24/7 case consultation, on-site and medical center-based teaching of innovative techniques, and a custom web-based information system that can monitor quality indicators and provide the basis for strategic efforts at improvement.

The Columbia HeartSource team does not merely provide arms-length consultative services, but actively integrates into the hospital processes in order to help develop, monitor and implement the solutions to opportunities which are identified in areas of quality improvement, program growth and development, physician practice development and hospital financial enhancement.  By consistently focusing on data driven priorities, HeartSource and our affiliates can measure and improve the quality of health care —shifting the focus from volume to value.

Data Management Support

Real-time, meaningful clinical data is the foundation for quality improvement initiatives throughout our affiliate network.  In 2008, Columbia HeartSource partnered with Armus Corporation to develop a customized clinical registry certified database for our Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery programs.  All hospitals look to meet the reporting requirements of professional societies and state departments of health. At HeartSource our primary goal is meaningful clinical data obtained with maximum efficiency.  The patient-centric model and array of interface opportunities support our network hospitals in achieving these goals.

Columbia HeartSource Affiliate Partnerships

Today, we continue to collaborate to develop tools to meet our clients’ evolving need for meaningful data.  As the healthcare environment changes with increased requirements for public reporting, as well as evolving payment structures, HeartSource and Armus continue to explore and develop ways to utilize data in meaningful ways while focusing on providing the highest quality of care.

Bon Secours St. Francis Health System

St. Francis downtown is located in Greenville, South Carolina.  A 257-bed hospital offering a complete range of comprehensive surgical and diagnostic services, St. Francis eastside, a 93-bed full-service community hospital, as well as two outpatient surgical centers.  St. Francis' pre-existing cardiac surgery program performed 200 cases annually.  In 2003, St. Francis’ Executive Leadership decided to strategically and intentionally develop the Cardiac Surgery program and contracted with Columbia HeartSource.  By 2004, two newly recruited, Columbia-affiliated cardiac surgeons were in place and the St. Francis program was rejuvenated.  Advancing the availability of the newest innovative procedures, the Columbia physicians remain available to work hand in hand with St. Francis surgeons.  Over time, the affiliation has evolved and today we continue to collaborate and share best practices, Now, St. Francis performs nearly 400 Cardiac Surgery procedures each year!  Recently named by The Leapfrog Group, as a Top Hospital, St. Francis exemplifies a quality cardiac surgery program.

Arnot Ogden Medical Center

Arnot Health, located in Elmira, NY is a not-for-profit, 256-bed tertiary medical facility that serves the needs of community residents in the South Central Finger Lakes Region of New York State and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.  The Arnot Heart & Vascular Institute was the first member of the Columbia HeartSource program.  The relationship began in 1999 when Arnot Health contracted with Columbia HeartSource to improve the quality of their surgical performance.  The initial contract offered strong leadership, combined with clinical oversight, and supported surgeon recruitment.  The continuing engagement allows Arnot Health's patients to benefit from the direct access to cutting-edge research and highly specialized expertise in a variety of ways: Columbia University surgeons and cardiologists attend quality conferences at Arnot every month to review cases and help ensure that the care provided is of exceptional quality, patient care and safety protocols are developed jointly to meet the highest standards of patient care, Arnot physicians participate in cutting edge cases and research studies with national leaders in cardiac care, and a dynamic referral system gives Arnot Health patients with highly complex health problems access to world-class specialists.  Arnot Health is able to create and maintain a robust quality assurance program, establishing itself as a model for relationships with other programs.

Stamford Hospital

Stamford Hospital is a 305-bed, not-for-profit, Level II trauma center and academic community hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, serving the residents of Fairfield and Westchester Counties.  Their areas of expertise include: cancer care, heart and vascular services, orthopedics, and women's health.  Stamford Hospital is an affiliate of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, a major teaching affiliate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital, one of only 21 in the country and 30 in the world to receive this designation.  Stamford Hospital engaged the Columbia HeartSource team in building a new cardiac surgical program.  The HeartSource team was active in the initial program development including: testifying before State committees to advocate for approval for the required certificate of need, facilities design, patient care management pathways, specialist recruitment, and on-going strategic program developement for associated cardiovascular services.  As an academic community hospital, Stamford Hospital works closely with Columbia HeartSource on continuing education and quality improvement.  Columbia University surgeons and cardiologists attend monthly conferences to review cases and ensure that the care provided is of exceptional quality.  The Heart and Vascular Institute of Stamford Hospital is a provider of complex cardiovascular care, with excellent quality outcomes as benchmarked against national providers of cardiology and cardiac surgical services.