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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry as a tool for use in quality improvement
  1. Michael S Schechter1,
  2. Aliza K Fink2,
  3. Karen Homa3,
  4. Christopher H Goss4
  1. 1Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Children's Hospital of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  2. 2Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  4. 4Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael S Schechter, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, 403 N. 11th Street, PO Box 980315, Richmond, VA 23298-0315, USA; mschechter{at}vcu.edu

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Introduction

The US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) began in 1955 with a mission to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with cystic fibrosis (CF), and ultimately to find a cure for this disease.1 The CFF does this by supporting basic science and clinical research in CF, supporting the care of CF patients through accredited CF centres nationwide and advocating for CF patients at the state and national level.

Recognising the critical role of data collection and measurement of outcomes to better understand the natural history of CF, the CFF created a patient registry in 1966, the CFF Patient Registry (CFFPR).2 The CFFPR has evolved over the years from a few demographic variables including vital status to a comprehensive database that gives healthcare providers, researchers, policy makers and change agents data to support epidemiological and clinical research as well as efforts to improve quality of care.

The specific purpose of this commentary is to describe the CFFPR and primarily to focus on how the CFFPR and its associated tools are being used for quality improvement (QI) activities, with the hope that it may help CF healthcare teams in the USA who are not familiar with the registry's capabilities, CF providers outside the USA with registries at various stages of development, and others interested in how a patient registry has been used to improve care.

Description of the CFFPR

The CFFPR contains detailed demographic and diagnostic data dating back to 1986 with current annual and encounter-based data on over 300 unique variables including outcomes (eg, microbiology, lung function and nutritional metrics, CF complications) and care processes (eg, hospitalisations, medications, surveillance measures) for each of its more than 27 000 participants in 2012; in all, there are over 46 000 unique individuals’ data in the registry.3 …

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