Interpreting Quality Improvement When Introducing New Technology: A Collaborative Experience in ASD Device Closures

Mary J. Yeh, Lauren Shirley, David T. Balzer, Brian A. Boe, Howaida El-Said, Susan Foerster, Kimberlee Gauvreau, Todd M. Gudausky, Michael R. Hainstock, Nicola Maschietto, George T. Nicholson, Brian P. Quinn, Shabana Shahanavaz, Sara Trucco, Wendy Whiteside, Lisa Bergersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the regular introduction of new technologies into interventional cardiac catheterization procedures, in this case new atrial septal defect (ASD) closure devices, while conducting a multi-center collaborative initiative to reduce radiation usage during all procedures. Data were collected prospectively by 8 C3PO institutions between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017 for ASD device closure procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab during a quality improvement (QI) initiative aimed at reducing patient radiation exposure. Radiation exposure was measured in dose area product per body weight (µGy*m2/kg). Use of proposed practice change strategies at the beginning and end of the QI intervention period was assessed. Radiation exposure was summarized by institution and by initial type of device used for closure. This study included 602 ASD device closures. Without changes in patient characteristics, total fluoroscopy duration, or number of digital acquisitions, median radiation exposure decreased from 37 DAP/kg to 14 DAP/kg from 2014 to 2017. While all individual centers decreased overall median DAP/kg, the use of novel devices for ASD closure correlated with a temporary period of worsening institutional radiation exposure and increased fluoroscopy time. The introduction of new ASD closure devices resulted in increased radiation exposure during a QI project designed to reduce radiation exposure. Therefore, outcome assessment must be contextualized in QI projects, hospital evaluation, and public reporting, to acknowledge the expected variation during innovation and introduction of novel therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-604
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Outcome metrics
  • Pediatric intervention
  • Quality improvement
  • Radiation risk


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