Headlines Show How Registries Boost Care Accountability for High Risk and Special Needs Patients

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

Recent headlines illustrate the use of patient registries to enhance care of high-risk and special needs patients:

First, medpage Today reports that a first look at a massive international registry of treatment for atrial fibrillation indicates that a high percentage of individuals are not being prescribed anticoagulation treatment that can reduce their risk of stroke. Researchers shared this data at the European Society of Cardiology meeting.

Of the nearly 10,000 patients in the initial cohort of the Global Anticoagulant Registry in the Field (GARFIELD), CHADS2 scoring showed 55 percent of them to be eligible for anticoagulation therapy, but 33 percent of them didn’t get it, Ajay Kakkar, MD, of University College London, reported at the meeting.

The Bayer-sponsored registry was designed to describe the real-life patterns of treatment in newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation patients with at least one additional risk factor for stroke.

And in last month’s lead-up to Hurricane Irene, Rhode Islanders with special healthcare needs were urged to enroll in an emergency special needs registry. In particular, the registry sought individuals using home oxygen, a respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or who are insulin dependent; those with mobility issues and using a wheelchair, walker, or cane; those that are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing or deaf; those developmental or mental health disabilities; or those using assistive animals or a prosthesis.

Almost half of respondents to a HIN August 2011 survey say they use some type of registry to collect health data related to their patients or plan members.

The most popular reason for using a registry is to measure quality and performance on key health outcomes, said 105 healthcare organizations who answered 25 multiple choice and open-ended questions on patient registries. Download an executive summary of the survey results.

85 percent of survey respondents believe that a registry will one day be a requirement for either Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement. Registries are already mandated for organizations seeking NCQA medical home recognition.

“NCQA and patient-centered medical home actually requires that you develop registries,” noted Dr. Gregory Spencer during a recent presentation on “Patient Registries: A Cornerstone in Creating and Delivering Accountable Care.”

“A registry is another name for a list of patients who meet a certain criteria, usually for a high risk or an important condition,” continued Dr. Spencer, chief medical officer with Crystal Run Healthcare. “Other real tangible benefits of registry use are in quality efforts, specifically in identifying groups of patients who need certain tests performed.”

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