UF vascular surgeons form statewide study group

Surgeons in the UF division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy have created the Florida Vascular Study Group, FVSG, which fosters collaboration statewide among physicians and hospitals to collect and analyze clinical data from patients undergoing vascular procedures.

Led by Adam W. Beck, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at the UF College of Medicine, the group’s focus is to improve the care of vascular patients throughout the state of Florida.

“Patients with vascular disease tend to have some of the most complicated and challenging cases that any physician must deal with,” said Beck. “The procedures performed and the conduct of their care can vary widely between surgeons, hospitals and regions, making identification of best practice difficult. Collaboration among surgeons throughout the state and the country through the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative, SVS VQI, will help identify variations in care that lead to complications and poor outcomes.”

The FVSG will be part of the SVS VQI through which there are a number of similar regional study groups, including the Vascular Study Group of New England. The New England group started in 2001, and ultimately led to a designated national patient safety organization, PSO, as well as a number of other regional study groups. With oversight by the PSO, regional groups collect procedural data, as well as information regarding pre- and post-operative care. This allows benchmarking of outcome variables such as technical success, cardiovascular complications and death, among others.

These benchmarks will ultimately allow surgeons to identify best practices and areas for quality improvement, and the FVSG will hold biannual meetings to discuss quality improvement initiatives.

“Without measuring our outcomes, we cannot define quality,” said Beck. “Since the Vascular Study Group of New England was developed in 2001, their group has successfully demonstrated that quality improvement programs can change practice across a large region and improve the care of patients. My hope is that we will have similar successes in Florida.”

The Florida Vascular Study Group plans to hold its first meeting in late October.

For more information, contact Julie Mayo, M.S.P.H., FVSG database manager, at 352.273.8344.