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  1. David P Stevens, Editor-in-Chief
  1. Correspondence to Heather Blasco, USA; qshc{at}bmjgroup.com

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Turning administrative data into real-time clinically useful information

The delivery of clinical care in isolation of data and information is no longer prudent or acceptable. Cardiothoracic surgical programs face increasingly more complex procedures performed on evermore challenging patients. Public and private stakeholders are demanding these programs report process-level and clinical outcomes as a mechanism for enabling informed clinical decision-making. Increasingly these measures are tied to reimbursement and institutional accreditation. This report describes the development of a system for linking administrative and clinical registries, in real-time, to track performance to satisfy both the needs of patients and stakeholders. Institutional performance is displayed over time using process control charts, and compared to both internal and regional benchmarks. Quarterly reports are automated for five surgical cohorts and are displayed externally on a dedicated website, and internally in the cardiothoracic surgical office suites, operating theatre, and nursing units. Monthly discussions are held with the clinical …

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