• President's Message - SCAI-Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT) Update

    December 08, 2011

    Dear Colleagues,

    I'm writing today to deliver an important update on SCAI-Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT) and offer you an opportunity to position yourself as a leader on quality improvement in your hospital, your community, and your profession.


    About six months ago, we launched the SCAI-QIT, a collection of tools designed to help interventional cardiologists and our catheterization laboratory teams identify opportunities for improvement and begin implementing changes that will positively impact patient outcomes. SCAI-QIT has been enthusiastically received and its tools are now in use in cath labs throughout the world.  Our initial efforts to assess the impact of SCAI-QIT have demonstrated success beyond our early expectations. For example:

    • Successful Launch:  We unveiled SCAI-QIT to a standing-room only audience at the SCAI 2011 Scientific Sessions, where attendees told us tools like SCAI-QIT’s are vital to continuing our specialty’s legacy of continuous quality improvement and working in today’s challenging healthcare environment.

    • Enthusiastic Adoption:  More than 230 Quality Champions have already enrolled in the SCAI-QIT program, which provides free access to SCAI-QIT’s robust selection of tools addressing issues such as:

      • Implementation of guidelines and appropriate use criteria
      • Pre-procedure checklists
      • Peer review conferences 
      • Data collection
      • Random case selection
      • National database participation
      • Inventory management

    • Worldwide Relevance:   SCAI’s Quality Champions practice in at least 34 states and 17 countries.  The global penetration of SCAI-QIT so early in its existence speaks to the universal challenges faced in the delivery of quality patient care and the customizability of SCAI-QIT’s tools. No matter where you are in your quality improvement process, there is a SCAI-QIT tool to meet your needs.

    • Ongoing Participation:  Over 600 interventional cardiologists and other members of cath lab teams have attended SCAI’s webinars supporting SCAI-QIT use. When SCAI’s Quality Improvement Committee undertook development of SCAI-QIT, they also committed to being available as a resource for the Quality Champions. SCAI’s webinars provide unparalleled opportunities to learn from others who have successfully overcome hurdles that stand in the way of quality improvement and to ask specific questions based on unique circumstances.  SCAI will continue to hold new webinars as new guidelines and tools become available.

    These metrics, attained just six months after launch, confirm my belief that SCAI-QIT is needed and it works. We adopted it at my hospital immediately upon launch, first by appointing a Quality Champion and then by choosing tools that have already helped us. For example, we hold weekly peer review catheterization conferences, participate in NCDR-Cath PCI and HealthGrades for benchmarking, use checklists for conscious sedation, and have implemented computerized inventory control processes to ensure crucial equipment is on the shelf.  SCAI-QIT tools have helped us with these quality improvement activities.


    Over the next several months, we will continue requesting the input of SCAI’s Quality Champions and measuring the impact of SCAI-QIT. Our goal is to give SCAI’s members and others interested in quality improvement, including patients and the media, a report on our progress and a plan for SCAI-QIT’s expansion. 

    If you are using SCAI-QIT in your cath lab, please take a few minutes to complete our survey about your experience, including how the tools are working, how they can be improved, and what you need to achieve success.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCAI_QIT_Users_2011

    If you need support for your quality efforts, take advantage of the archived SCAI webinar series. You can listen to these programs at your convenience by logging on at www.SCAI.org/QITWebinars.

    If you have not yet enrolled as a Quality Champion, I encourage you to sign up today. Quality Champions can download as many of the tools as they like at no cost and are encouraged to adapt them to meet their needs.  Becoming a Quality Champion positions you as a leader. Enroll at www.SCAI.org/QITChampion.

    Personal Note

    SCAI-QIT came about as I considered my term as SCAI president and talked with members about the challenges you want your Society to tackle. Many members shared my concern that the noble goals of guidelines, appropriate use criteria, and quality improvement were being subverted by those who don’t practice medicine and/or don’t have first-hand knowledge about how to care for patients in cath labs.  Widely adopting SCAI-QIT and conscientiously working toward its goals demonstrates the invasive/interventional cardiologist’s commitment to monitoring progress in improving processes, addressing deficiencies, and delivering the quality care our patients deserve. 

    Please consider becoming a Quality Champion today.  Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Christopher J. White, M.D., FSCAI
    President, SCAI

    The SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit was developed with support from Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., and Lilly USA, LLC. The Society gratefully acknowledges this support while taking sole responsibility for all content developed and disseminated through this effort.