The Importance of Clinical Data Registries in Modern Cardiology

Blog Posts  |  28 February 2023

Clinical data registries focus on capturing data reflective of real-world clinical practice. Much of the current guidance for how cardiovascular clinical data registries are defined and operated is based on a statement from the 2015 joint working group formed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. In these registries, data are collected systematically for specific scientific, clinical, or policy purposes.

Clinical data registries cover a broad patient landscape. In this respect, they differ from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which tend to include fewer patients than those represented in a clinical data registry. RCTs have long been the gold standard for studying medical therapeutics, but they cannot provide the large amounts of data or generalizability available from a clinical data registry. However, if used appropriately, clinical data registries can serve as complementary information sources, offering insights into patient characteristics RCTs don’t generally cover.

The number of clinical data registries has skyrocketed in the past few decades—and their use will continue to grow with the need to evaluate new treatments and medications. As their number increases, clinical data registries are gaining greater and greater importance in the field of cardiovascular medicine. Keep reading to learn some of the ways this benefits providers.

Key contributors to scientific knowledge

Clinical data registries have become vital contributors to scientific knowledge by offering insights into real-world patterns of care. Information from clinical data registries can complement data from RCTs by harnessing big data to provide insights into patient characteristics, comorbid conditions, patterns of care, quality of care, patient safety, underlying trends, patient outcomes, and more. By collecting patient information, clinical data registries can help to promote collaborative science and accelerate clinical discovery. This information can also help researchers studying the condition covered by the registry to develop better research studies to learn more about the disease or condition.

To be successful, though, clinical data registries must be able to collect large amounts of data—big data—in a structured and systematic manner, using consistent data definitions and standards. Some registries have developed the ability to extract structured data directly from electronic medical records (EMRs). Other institutions have integrated data collection for registries into their clinical workflow, limiting the need for expensive and time-consuming data abstraction.

Some clinical data registries, such as the Veradigm Cardiovascular Registry, benefit both physicians and patients by providing them with greater opportunities to participate in research studies that would otherwise be unavailable.

Tools for improving quality of patient care

Clinical data registries are also valuable tools for helping to improve the quality of patient care. Quality improvement registries support this improvement by giving providers more detailed information based on the aggregate experience of other patients in the registry to help guide treatment decisions.

They do this by measuring quality metrics across a large cohort of patients. Measurement is central to quality improvement because clinicians can only compare, or benchmark, their care and outcomes to peers and national standards when data is collected for them to do so. Benchmarking helps identify targets for performance improvement, which can improve patient care.

Measuring specific quality metrics allows providers to ask critical questions such as:

  • Are we doing the right things? (evidence)
  • Are we doing the right things right? (implementation)
  • Are our patients better off for it? (outcomes)

Data from the Veradigm Cardiology Registry (formerly the PINNACLE Registry) demonstrate how a clinical data registry can help improve patient care: According to a review article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, between 2013 and 2017, care processes improved overall for patients participating in the registry. Findings from registries have also been used to update clinical practice guidelines and have appeared in statistical publications such as the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Statistical Update. Clinical data registries play a critical role in developing evidence for:

  • Best clinical practice
  • Measuring outcomes
  • Providing feedback to clinicians
  • Improving quality of care

As a result, hospital administrators, clinicians, and quality-improvement personnel alike view clinical data registries as valuable tools for assessing patient care quality. Patients, healthcare quality organizations, and the government all desire transparent and accurate reporting on the performance of cardiovascular programs, which registries can provide.

Veradigm Cardiology Registry: a step toward improved cardiovascular care

Participation in a clinical data registry has numerous benefits. It is likely to help increase medical knowledge of the particular diseases or conditions on which the registry focuses. It also benefits participants by providing benchmark reports, allowing them to validate their practices’ quality of care and pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

The Veradigm Cardiology Registry (formerly the PINNACLE Registry) is unique in that it provides these benefits and more while specifically serving the needs of providers and researchers in cardiovascular medicine. This registry is operated in partnership with the ACC to provide a comprehensive look at the real-world management and quality of care for 4 common cardiovascular conditions: heart failure, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and hypertension.

This partnership transforms cardiovascular care and improves heart health by delivering a wider breadth of clinical tools to registry participants, as well as providing patients with greater opportunities to participate in research studies. The registry also uses its electronic health record (EHR) platforms to bring the ACC’s clinical guidelines, decision pathways, education, and more directly to the point of care, doing so provides physicians with increased access to evidence-based medicine and tools.

The Veradigm Cardiology Registry also provides Merit-based Payment System (MIPS) reporting and quality measures, plus seamless participation in federal quality reporting programs, including the Quality Payment Program at no cost to the participant. Registry participation enables eligible clinicians and practices to earn bonus points for Clinical Data Registry Reporting for the Promoting Interoperability performance category as well.

Clinical data registries, such as the Veradigm Cardiology Registry, are invaluable to the future of cardiovascular medicine. Contact us to learn more about the offerings of the Veradigm Cardiology Registry and how it can strengthen your practice.

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