In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 1, pp. 1-7(7) ; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.0002, David E. Winchester, MD, MS and Rebecca Beyth, MD, MS from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, USA consider quality improvement in cardiovascular imaging.
QI came to health care from the industrial sector with the goals of reducing waste and unwanted variation in care delivery processes. Over the past few decades, QI has been integrated into most health care facilities and is an educational mandate for all physician trainees. Within cardiovascular imaging, areas for improvement include consistency of result reporting, greater patient safety through reductions in radiation exposure, and greater efficiency of care delivery by elimination of wasteful practices and elimination of low-value or rarely appropriate testing. QI in health care is often driven through one of several endorsed frameworks, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and the Model for Improvement. Multiple examples of how to teach QI to medical trainees and physicians have been published. The authors explore the growth and impact of QI in cardiovascular imaging, providing specific examples of successful projects, barriers to conducting QI, and rewards of persistent effort toward improving care.