TUCSON, Ariz. – August 24, 2012 – Carondelet Health Network is proud to announce that Carondelet Specialist Group vascular surgeons, Drs. Rhonda Quick and Scott Berman of Tucson Vascular Specialists, are the first vascular specialists in Arizona to join the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI).

The VQI is a voluntary reporting program that tracks outcomes for nine of the most common procedures performed by vascular specialists. Participating physicians and institutions can compare their outcomes with similar physicians throughout their region and nationally. The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), the pre-eminent professional society for vascular specialists in the United States, has created a patient safety organization (PSO) to oversee the management of the national database consistent with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“We are excited to be participating in this critically important program, which will define ‘real world’ outcomes for patients with peripheral vascular disease,” said Scott Berman, M.D., FACS. “Moreover, by analyzing trends in outcomes, the regional and national work groups can determine best practices and institute changes in practices much more quickly and cost effectively than waiting for this information to be disseminated by traditional means.”

Dr. Berman has been selected to the national governing council of the SVS PSO as a representative of the newly created Rocky Mountain Vascular Study Group.

Dr. Berman also noted that outcomes analyses from the Vascular Study Group of New England, the founding members of the VQI, have already been applied to participating physicians’ practices and have been shown to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare expenditures by improving quality. “Rather than chasing after generalized benchmarks established by the government, participation in VQI will allow us to develop practical quality benchmarks that are directly applicable to our patient population and more accurately reflect the care being provided by vascular specialists in the U.S.,” added Berman. “In time, it is likely that Medicare and other third-party payers will consider participation in VQI as a mandatory requirement for vascular specialists to be included in their programs.”

For more information about VQI, please see: www.vascularqualityinitiative.org.

To learn more about the vascular specialists of Carondelet Specialist Group, click here to visit the Tucson Vascular Specialists website.

About Carondelet Health Network Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to responding to the health, prevention, education, and wellness needs of Southern Arizonans. Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 132 years ago. Carondelet’s Tucson facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, and Carondelet Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Carondelet’s family of services also include nearly two dozen primary and specialty care offices, an ambulatory surgery center, several imaging centers, Hospice and Palliative Care, and a variety of other outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system. In Fiscal Year 2012, Carondelet provided more than $52 million in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to healthcare. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.