Key Data Elements and Definitions for Peripheral Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease
Sponsor: American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association
Publisher: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, January 2012
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*This consensus statement was reviewed by the CNS/AANS Joint Cerebrovascular Section and subsequently endorsed by the AANS, but not the CNS due to lack of involvement in initial project.
The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) support their members' goal to improve the prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases through professional education, research, and development of guidelines and standards and by fostering policy that supports optimal patient outcomes. The ACCF and AHA recognize the importance of the use of clinical data standards for patient management, to assess outcomes, and conduct research and the importance of defining the processes and outcomes of clinical care, whether in randomized trials, observational studies, registries, or quality improvement initiatives.
Hence, clinical data standards strive to define and standardize data relevant to clinical topics in cardiology, with the primary goal of assisting data collection by providing a platform of data elements and definitions applicable to various conditions. Broad agreement on a common vocabulary with reliable definitions used by all is vital to pool and/or compare data across studies to promote interoperability of electronic health records and to assess the applicability of research to clinical practice. The increasing national focus on adoption of certified electronic health records along with financial incentives for providers to demonstrate “meaningful use” of those electronic health records to improve healthcare quality render even more imperative and urgent the need for such definitions and standards. Therefore, the ACCF and AHA have undertaken to define and disseminate clinical data standards: sets of standardized data elements and corresponding definitions to collect data relevant to cardiovascular conditions. The ultimate purpose of clinical data standards is to contribute to the infrastructure necessary to accomplish the ACCF/AHA's missions of fostering optimal cardiovascular care and disease prevention and building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, respectively.