Stony Brook Medicine Earns Top Three Stars in Vascular Quality Initiative Registry Participation Award Program

Submitted by Stony Brook Surgery on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 08:43

Recognition of Our Focus on Continuous Improvement of Patient Care


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Our vascular faculty: (left to right) Drs. Nicholas Sikalas, Shang A. Loh, David S. Landau, Apostolos K. Tassiopoulos, Angela A. Kokkosis, Antonios P. Gasparis, Nicos Labropoulos, and Mohsen Bannazadeh (click on photo to enlarge). (Not pictured is George J. Koullias.)

The Society for Vascular Surgery's Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) has just awarded Stony Brook Medicine three stars — the top rating — for its active participation in the Registry Participation Program.

The SVS VQI registry provides real-time data and gives opportunities for vascular surgery-related quality improvement projects.

The mission of the SVS VQI is to improve patient safety and the quality of vascular care delivery by providing web-based collection, aggregation and analysis of clinical data submitted in registry format for all patients undergoing specific vascular treatments. The VQI operates 12 vascular registries.

The participation awards program began in 2016 to encourage active participation in the registries program and recognize the importance of that participation.

Participating centers can earn up to three stars based on actions that lead to better patient care, including:

  • The completeness of long-term, follow-up reporting, based on the percentage of patients for whom they have at least nine months of follow-up data.
  • Physician attendance at semi-annual meetings of a regional quality group.
  • Initiation of quality improvement activities based on VQI data.
  • The number of vascular registries in which the center participates.


"This second year in a row 3-star level designation is an acknowledgment of
our focus on continuous improvement in the care of our patients."

VQI's registries contain demographic, clinical, procedural, and outcomes data from more than 500,000 vascular procedures performed in the U.S. and in Canada. Each record includes information from the patient's initial hospitalization and at one-year follow-up.

The wealth of data allows centers and providers to compare their performance to regional and national benchmarks. All centers and providers receive biannual dashboards and regular performance reports, so they can use their data to support quality improvement initiatives.

Our vascular care team at the Stony Brook Vascular Center uses VQI data to measure the effectiveness of our programs and to improve our long-term patient care.

Apostolos K. Tassiopoulos, MD, chief of our Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Division, and director of the Stony Brook Vascular Center, says:

"Stony Brook Medicine was the first New York State institution to participate in the Vascular Quality Initiative. In the past decade we have successfully utilized VQI data to improve patient care in our hospital. This second year in a row 3-star level designation is an acknowledgment of our focus on continuous improvement in the care of our patients."


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Among his several leadership roles, Dr. Tassiopoulos is regional medical director of the >Vascular Study Group of Greater New York (VSGGNY).

The VSGGNY functions under the auspices of the SVS Surgery Patient Safety Organization, and works cooperatively with other regional study groups, to benchmark outcomes after vascular procedures and assure that patients everywhere are receiving the highest quality of care possible.

Here at Stony Brook, Dr. Tassiopoulos is vice chair for quality and outcomes, and he has successfully directed several initiatives that ensure surgical quality and safety throughout the Department of Surgery.

Commenting on the achievement of our vascular team, Mark A. Talamini, MD, MBA, professor and chairman of surgery, and chief of surgical service at Stony Brook Medicine, says:

"This is a very big deal, when you think about the high-risk patient population and complex care that vascular patients require. To me this is an achievement on the level of our cardiac team's earning the highest quality rating of three stars from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for their overall patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass graft procedures."

Biannual regional VQI meetings allow physicians of different specialties, nurses, data managers, quality officers, and others to meet, share information and ideas, and learn from each other in a positive and supportive environment.

Members have used VQI data to significantly improve the delivery of vascular care at local, regional, and national levels, reducing complications and expenses.

"Hard-working, dedicated organizations such as Stony Brook Medicine are key to the success of the vascular registries," says VQI medical director Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, MD.

"The work we do to build and maintain the registries for researcher use is crucial to health and outcomes for vascular patients. As the old saying says, 'if you can't measure it, you can't improve it.'"

Operating under the SVS, the VQI is composed of 12 registries containing demographic, clinical, procedural, and outcomes data from more than 500,000 vascular procedures performed nationwide and in Canada. The mission of VQI is to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and cost of vascular healthcare.


Learn more about our vascular care team and their services. For consultations/appointments with our vascular specialists, please call 631-638-1670.