Driving Excellence Through Data
The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute team is among the best in providing excellent care and positive outcomes for its patients. But there’s always room for improvement when the goal is unwavering excellence, which is why Gill created a quality council that meets regularly to evaluate performance and facilitate efficiencies across departments.
“We know we provide exceptional care, but until you see the data, we really can’t be 100 percent sure of precisely how well we perform,” said Cardiovascular Quality Manager Liliana Terziyska-Kuvlieva, MD. “We have been very successful in using the data to improve our processes and to ensure that we continue to provide the highest-quality patient care.”
Although the council includes representatives from every specialty at Gill, it’s driven by the leadership and participation of physicians.
“It’s crucial for the providers to be involved in analyzing and discussing their data,” Terziyska-Kuvlieva said. “It’s also very important for them to be able to ask questions of the people who collect the information for them so they can ensure that the data is accurate and meaningful.”
Interventional cardiology fellows also meet quarterly to review all cases with complications. “It’s educational and also very productive. People are excited to discuss and share their opinions of what was successful and what they might have done differently,” Terziyska-Kuvlieva said.
If a metric is identified as worthy of further attention, a small team might be tasked with brainstorming ideas. For example, a quality-driven initiative instituted by Pharmacy Services has had widespread impact not only for Gill but also for hospitals throughout the state that have since instituted similar programs.
Through the Cath Lab Initiative, all patients treated for an acute myocardial infarction and who have a stent placed are provided with free medical treatment for one month, including a supply of medication and post-procedure guidance upon discharge.
“Patients stay in the hospital for a very short time, and we want to make sure they go home with very good instructions and the medical guidelines for treatment,” Terziyska-Kuvlieva said.
Additionally, Terziyska-Kuvlieva sends quarterly updates to the quality control offices at hospitals throughout Kentucky and hosts a quarterly conference call to discuss recently instituted initiatives and their effectiveness.
“We want to involve everybody and share success stories in order to help each other get better and to provide the best care for patients in Kentucky and beyond,” Terziyska-Kuvlieva said. “It’s our mission and our responsibility to drive this process.”
“Our goal is the best care for the patients and best possible outcomes.” – Liliana Terziyska-Kuvlieva, MD, Cardiovascular Quality Manager