Vasc-Alert understands that every clinic is unique and uses our surveillance system in slightly different ways based on factors such as clinical policies and procedures, location, available services, and staff structure. As a result, we’ve created our system to work seamlessly with clinics of all shapes and sizes. We also work closely with each organization to help tailor the system in the way that works best for them.
We’ve identified five key strategies or best practices that are consistent among those organizations with the most successful vascular access programs. Incorporating these strategies into your organizational plan can help you meet clinical practice guidelines and put you on the fast track to building a successful program as well.
Strategies for a Successful Surveillance Program
When clients implemented these five best practices, they reported greater cost-savings, increased compliance, minimal staffing requirements, and positive multispecialty team efforts. Most importantly, they improved outcomes and quality of life for patients.
Below are the five best practices for successful access surveillance:
Best Practice #1: The gears have to turn. Vasc-Alert produces reports once a week for a reason, i.e. for some patients, stenosis can grow rapidly for any number of reasons. If staff is not diligent in reviewing the Vasc-Alert portal for patient reports or picking up reports and acting on them by making referrals, quality of care can suffer. So the gears of vascular access maintenance only turn if staff look at the reports and act on them.
Best Practice #2: Integrate Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes. This ensures you continually review and make adjustments to the program when needed to maximize benefits.
Best Practice #3: Appoint a Vascular Access Manager (VAM). We’ve found that the most successful organizations designate one leader in charge of surveillance. Additional staff may also act as part of the team to help support those efforts.
Best Practice #4: Develop working relationships with intervention centers. Whether your patients all go to one access center or several, including hospital IR departments, it is important to develop a good working relationship with these resources. The staff in these facilities may want to understand how Vasc-Alert works and the interpretation of reports. We can help facilitate an education session. The interventional staff can also be a tremendous collaborative resource for the VAM and helpful in making decisions on when to refer. To facilitate this partnership, access to Vasc-Alert reports can be given to access center staff so that they can monitor patients both pre and post-intervention.
Best Practice #5: Outcomes must be tracked. The only way to know how well your surveillance program is working is to measure outcomes. For example, recording intervention results that include percentage of occlusion can help in making future decisions for that patient. Understanding outcomes can help you improve your program as well as promote your clinic.