Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen. PAD is most common in arteries of the leg. PAD affects 7.3 million Americans, and over 5% of all adults have intermittent claudication, a form of PAD that limits the ability to walk. There are three main management strategies for patients with claudication: non-intervention (anti-platelet medication, smoking cessation, physical therapy), endovascular interventions (angioplasty and/or stents), and surgical bypass. These treatments are employed by clinicians from three specialties: vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, and interventional radiology. The wide range of clinical specialists who can treat PAD or claudication, coupled with varying thresholds for intervention for each treatment type and no cohesive quality improvement or research efforts that encompass all clinical specialties, means the communities that treat this disease have little evidence comparing treatment safety, quality, and effectiveness, and few avenues to come together.
In partnership with the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP), CERTAIN is bringing together physicians in vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, and interventional radiology in quality improvement and research activities. Through Vascular Interventional SCOAP (VI-SCOAP), clinicians are gathering in‐hospital data about the use and outcomes of these different interventions and receiving valuable benchmarking information that they can use to improve the care that they deliver to their patients.
In addition to VI-SCOAP quality improvement activities, CERTAIN has also developed and is running a research assessment that aims to better understand best practices in PAD/claudication treatment and further inform quality improvement initiatives for VI-SCOAP to implement.