Transforming registry participation and enhancing clinical data quality: Q-Centrix Clinical Data Governance Councils

By Q-Centrix | July 12, 2023

Patient registry participation has become as crucial as it is complex. When leveraged, the clinical data captured here are the bedrock of improving healthcare – guiding advancements, reinforcing impactful processes, enabling powerful teams, directing research initiatives, and supporting every other aspect of care delivery. But unlocking all that power takes new levels of commitment and expertise. 

Registry participation and the Q-Centrix Clinical Data Governance Councils
  • Vast amounts of ambiguous, unstructured data must be interpreted correctly to deliver quality insights. 
  • The more data the industry collects, the more guidelines evolve to address new insights.  
  • The teams working on these entangled challenges are often small and face competing priorities.  

Meghan Nolan – clinical education manager at Q-Centrix – and her team needed a solution to address these disparities and support the teams working with the registry data. Their answer, Q-Centrix Clinical Data Governance Councils, has not only elevated the quality of clinical data across the nation but has transformed registry participation from siloed frustration to focused collaboration for many. 

For those less familiar with the intricacies of clinical registry participation, understanding the benefits of participation and the role of data entry in healthcare first will provide context for the importance of these governance councils.  

Understanding patient registries and the role of clinical data entry 

Patient registries are electronic databases that compile patient health and treatment data, providing valuable insights into clinical practice. Unlike randomized clinical trials, registries gather data that reflects real-world patient care across a broader population. Registries, such as those supported by Q-Centrix, use standardized data definitions and protocols to ensure accurate and consistent data collection. These data elements are defined in specification manuals, acting as the source of truth for data abstraction. 

The quality and integrity of the collected data are critical; any improvement initiative and its outcomes are only as good as the data driving the decisions. This is the guiding principle behind Meghan’s work with the governance councils.  

“The quality of clinical data entry is crucial in setting standards for excellent care and motivating facilities to continuously enhance the services they offer.  The word ‘quality’ strikes me as a verb. It is a continuous process that allows our partners to launch improvement initiatives to surpass the average metric and take total ownership of their quality.”

Q-Centrix’s Clinical Data Governance Councils (CGCs) are composed of clinical data experts like Meghan who share knowledge and information to help them make decisions regarding registry updates, data integrity program options, educational opportunities, and more. The structure these councils provide enables Q-Centrix’s clinical data experts to own clinical decision-making within their respective registries or service lines. 

Registry participation process 

Deciding to participate 

Registry participation involves several steps, beginning with the decision to participate. While some registries are mandatory for facilities due to Medicare reimbursement requirements, others are voluntary but can provide a competitive advantage within the clinical community.  

Staffing for the registry work 

Once a facility decides to participate, they need to determine if they will have dedicated staff to perform that data abstraction or rely on external support. In either case, specialized clinical data experts are needed for data that cannot be automatically imported from the EMR.  

While there are advantages to both approaches, outsourcing data abstraction allows facilities to use their resources for quality improvement initiatives and patient care. Q-Centrix plays a crucial role in offloading data abstraction and providing a team of experts who ensure accurate and high-quality data entry. 

Using the data 

Hospitals and systems must also create a plan for using the registry data quality report for quality improvement. Hospital administration is typically involved in all data collection activities, but assuring reflection is a crucial component of an all-encompassing enterprise data management strategy. 

Benefits of clinical data registry participation 

Registry participation can bring numerous benefits from a clinical and administrative perspective. Clinical registries enable healthcare professionals to gather large-scale, organized data for evidence-based decision-making. By collecting comprehensive information on patient outcomes, treatment effectiveness, and disease patterns, registries allow physicians to understand the real-world impact of medical interventions. Meghan quotes Dr. Lukas Kappenberger to explain the importance of this work: 

“Science tells us what we can do; guidelines tell us what we should do; and registries tell us what we are actually doing.”  

From an administrative perspective, registry participation empowers hospitals and healthcare institutions. By actively contributing data to registries, healthcare providers can assess their competitive position in relation to their peers, identify areas for improvement, and benchmark their performance against industry standards. This invaluable feedback allows institutions to enhance their quality of care and demonstrate their commitment to excellence to patients and stakeholders. Moreover, registries support research and medical knowledge, enabling the identification of trends, emerging therapies, and patient outcomes across diverse populations. 

However, none of these benefits are truly possible without clinical data integrity. Q-Centrix’s Clinical Data Governance Councils are helping hospitals across the country participate in this work at the highest level, ensuring the reliability and accuracy of the information collected.  

Q-Centrix Clinical Data Governance Councils: Driving transformation 

The governance councils facilitate collaboration among individuals with different clinical backgrounds, unlocking the value of clinical data. By harnessing their expertise, the councils ensure accurate and consistent data abstraction. This allows for better analysis and clinical judgment, ultimately improving the quality of data collected. Furthermore, the councils serve as a resource for Q-Centrix’s team of clinical data experts, promoting knowledge sharing and providing a supportive environment. Meghan elaborates on the power of the councils, saying, 

 “Many hospitals that handle abstraction in-house lack the capacity to have an impartial staff analyze the data and offer clinical judgement. While the registry can offer suggestions, they are often constrained because they do not have access to all the clinical documentation. Our governance councils help bridge this gap to answer the toughest questions and prioritize quality data.” 

Expanding reach and impact 

Currently, Q-Centrix has six Clinical Data Governance Councils supporting various clinical areas and registries: CathPCI, CPMI, Infection Prevention, NSQIP, STS ACSD, and TVT. However, the team is committed to continually expanding the reach and impact of the councils to maximize their benefits across the healthcare industry. 

By establishing councils in different specialties and domains, Q-Centrix aims to ensure that the expertise and insights of clinical professionals from diverse backgrounds are incorporated into the decision-making process. This approach enhances the accuracy and quality of data curation and enables a comprehensive understanding of the specific clinical nuances and challenges within each specialty. 

“I am truly honored to be on the CGC and helping to improve the TVT knowledge of all clinical data experts here. This makes me so happy personally to be able to promote how important the quality of our work is in making sure our experts have what they need daily and in easy to find/read formats.” -Miki Wynn, clinical data lead, member of the TVT council 

The expansion of the councils allows Q-Centrix to stay at the forefront of industry developments and evolving best practices. With the input of clinical experts through the councils, Q-Centrix can adapt registry protocols and data collection methodologies to reflect the latest evidence-based guidelines and quality measures. This ensures that the data collected remains relevant and aligned with the evolving standards of care. 

Furthermore, the growing reach of the councils enables Q-Centrix to establish stronger relationships with healthcare facilities and professional societies. By collaborating with these organizations, Q-Centrix can leverage its team’s expertise and promote a shared vision of enhancing clinical data quality. The councils serve as a platform for fostering these partnerships, creating a collaborative environment where stakeholders can work together to drive meaningful improvements in healthcare delivery. 

“The councils have naturally encouraged my team to work more closely together. We have the benefit of learning from work other teams are doing and we routinely copy one another on emails related to definitions and other registry work. The collaboration on projects and being able to contribute to one another’s education has made us all stronger.” – Shel Sherman, clinical data lead, member of the NSQIP council 

As the councils continue to expand, they have the potential to revolutionize the way clinical data is collected, analyzed, and used. By bringing together clinical experts, registry administrators, and quality improvement professionals, each council facilitates a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to data governance. This approach ensures that the data collected through registries is accurate, consistent, actionable, and impactful for improving patient outcomes. 

Unlocking the value of clinical data and registry participation 

The expansion of Clinical Data Governance Councils holds tremendous potential for transforming registry participation and enhancing clinical data quality. By leveraging the expertise of clinical professionals, Q-Centrix is driving improvements in data abstraction, informing evidence-based decision-making, and fostering increased collaboration across the healthcare industry. As the councils continue to grow, their reach and impact will extend, leading to a higher standard of care and improved patient outcomes.