Quality work in Angiology

Quality development and quality measurement are key areas of the SSA association's work. The focus lies on patient safety, quality assurance - above all with the guarantee of high-quality training, continuing education and further training and a treatment register - as well as quality development with the development of recommendations within the context of Smarter Medicine.

Quality Charta of the SAQM/FMH

The quality of the own performance is a natural element of every physician's work and must be guaranteed and promoted in all aspects for the benefit of patients, relatives and medical professionals. This is required by the medical-ethical concept, but also by Swiss law in various legal articles. For this reason, the Swiss Academy for Quality in Medicine SAQM and various medical organizations have drawn up a binding quality charta. This is a declaration of intent for cooperation and networking on quality issues in Switzerland. 77 medical organizations have signed the charter to date, including the SSA.

The charter is based on three pillars:

  1. Transparency: To make existing and new medical activities to promote quality in medicine and the quality of medical service provision visible.
  2. Commitment: The signatory medical organizations develop a quality strategy and regularly evaluate their work in a quality report.
  3. Sustainability: The quality strategy is designed for the long term and ensures quality development. Quality work is an integral part of medical training, continuing education and further training and is based on legal and data protection principles.

>>> Quality Charta of the FMH/SAQM

SSA Quality Report

Within the SSA, there has been a board department for patient safety, quality assurance and development for a number of years. A central focus of SSA quality is postgraduate and continuing education, with the specialist examination and the 50 credits to be earned each year for mandatory continuing education. Together with additional certificates of competence with regular recertification, this forms the basis for high-quality in all treatments in angiology in Switzerland. In 2021, the SSA published a quality report for the first time, setting out the goals for the association's quality work.

Focus on quality work:

  1. Patient safety: Development of recommendations for measures in the area of patient safety and setting topics at annual meetings and symposia
  2. Quality assurance: Supporting high-quality graduate, postgraduate and continuing training, further development of the procedure for the accreditation and certification of vascular centers (USGG) and the development of the MDiA (minimal data set for interventional angiology). Furthermore, database-based quality recording for invasive treatments by means of registers.
  3. Quality development: Preparation of recommendations for measures within the framework of Choosing Wisely/Smarter Medicine, certificate of competence in interventional angiology and qualification certificates for interventions and X-ray protection.

>>> SSA Quality Report 2021/2022

Angiology registry for outpatient PTA/EVTA

As part of its quality work, the SSA has initiated an angiology register for outpatient PTA/EVTA. For this purpose, a minimal data set for interventional angiology MDiA was developed. At present, the future of the register is uncertain, as funding has also not been settled. The project is therefore currently on hold.

«Smarter Medicine»: Swiss Angiology publishes Top 5-list

The Swiss Society of Angiology has established a top 5 list of unnecessary treatments based on the latest scientific findings. As such, the SSA supports the «Smarter Medicine» campaign of «Choosing Wisely Switzerland». The Top-5-list, which has now been published, lists frequent but unnecessary investigations or treatments in vascular medicine.

In 2011, physicians launched the international Choosing Wisely initiative. The aim of this initiative is to correct overuse and misuse in medicine. Choosing Wisely Switzerland aims to raise public awareness with its Smarter Medicine-campaign. This Swiss organization, led by the SGAIM, works with various medical associations to draw up Top-5-lists, each containing five medical measures that are generally considered unnecessary.

The SSA has now drawn up a Top-5-list of frequent but unnecessary examinations or treatments in vascular medicine. In developing the list, the specialist society relied mainly on the suggestions of its members. Angiologists from university hospitals and practices who suggested the five treatments listed were involved in an advisory role. At the end of 2022, the list was approved by the General Assembly of the Society.

The five recommendations:

  1. No antiplatelet drugs (aspirin) in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Aspirin is no longer recommended for primary prevention, as the benefit in terms of reducing future cardiovascular disease is low. General preventive measures such as physical exercise, smoking cessation or the treatment of high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia should be used first.
  2. No diagnostics using CT or MRI to clarify peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD): Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are not indicated as the first step in the diagnosis of symptoms that could indicate PAD. Color-coded duplex ultrasonography (FKDS) is the diagnostic method of first choice today.
  3. No percutaneous or surgical revascularization for peripheral arterial occlusive disease without symptoms: Arterial vascular interventions for peripheral arterial occlusive disease are used purely to treat clinical symptoms or problems following vascular surgery. They do not solve the problem of arteriosclerosis.
  4. No examination for coagulation disorders in the case of deep vein thrombosis occurring for the first time: Even if a coagulation disorder is present, laboratory tests do not change the treatment of venous thrombosis if this has occurred as the first episode due to a known provoking factor.
  5. No manual lymphatic drainage without additional decongestant treatment for primary and secondary lymphedema: The combined application of manual lymphatic drainage and accompanying compression measures is associated with significantly increased effectiveness, so that the SGA always recommends combined application: The combined application of manual lymphatic drainage and accompanying compression measures is associated with significantly increased effectiveness, so that the SGA always recommends combined application.

>>> More about Smarter Medicine
>>> Read the full article in the SAEZ

Quality Officer of the SSA

Prof. Dr. Marc Husmann
Delegate for Quality

Centre for Vascular Disease
Zurich-Stadelhofen
Stadelhoferstrasse 8
8001 Zürich

+41 44 269 80 20

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