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September 9, 2020

SIR Launches VIRTEX Data Registry

September 9, 2020—The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) recently launched the VIRTEX data registry to provide dedicated clinical data for the interventional radiology (IR) specialty.

“VIRTEX will provide interventional radiologists a pathway to obtaining the depth of evidence needed to demonstrate the capabilities and potential of IR,” said Rajesh Shah, MD, FSIR, in comments to Endovascular Today. Dr. Shah is the SIR Quality and Outcomes Division Chair and Director of Interventional Radiology and Associate Chief of Radiology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California.

“VIRTEX will be a hub of data that will help advance the standing of IR among medical specialties and show that IR therapies can be high quality, evidence-based, first-line solutions that are often less invasive and more efficient than traditional approaches while delivering equivalent or better outcomes. To date, the IR specialty lacks a robust clinical data registry that other specialties have. VIRTEX will change this.”

SIR aims to bring together a wide range of interventional radiologists to help drive the data in the registry. “We are looking to recruit all IRs no matter their practice type,” said Dr. Shah. “We need a variety of data from large academic practices and health care systems, smaller systems and private practices, outpatient-based labs, rural and urban health care centers, and practices in between.”

The initial phase of the VIRTEX registry intends to include IR data on the following specialty areas: biopsy, central venous catheter use, vertebroplasty, inferior vena cava filters, prostatic artery embolization, uterine artery embolization, peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, and stroke.

Dr. Shah added, “Participants will be able to use the registry to see how their products and services perform in the real world, access performance data, develop quality improvement projects, and contribute to research that can build the foundation for the growth of IR.

“We designed the registry so users won’t have to sift through raw data to extract meaningful information. The registry has powerful tools that provide users with data that is based on an understanding of their patient population. Risk adjustments can be applied so that fair comparisons are made to understand potential areas of improvement and opportunities. In addition, VIRTEX can help users understand their data as granularly as possible. If a user sees something of curiosity or instances where their data differs from similar sites, they can drill down into that data more specifically for answers.

“In addition to providing valuable data to support research and technologic advancements for IR, the registry will help interventional radiologists more clearly see the value of their treatment after a patient has left their care. VIRTEX will eventually automatically trigger surveys to patients who have undergone IR procedures and gather data that will inform the development of future IR therapies, tools, and processes and ultimately help enhance patient outcomes.”

The data for the registry will be collected via standardized reports via SIR’s Standardized Reporting Initiative to allow for improved data quality and structured reporting for IR practices. More details and templates related to standardized reporting are found here.

Developed in collaboration with ArborMetrix, VIRTEX can integrate with several commonly used data resources.

“The registry itself is designed to automatically and securely upload data from existing systems, such as HI-IQ, Nuance PowerScribe, and a number of electronic health record programs,” said Dr. Shah.

The creation of an IR-dedicated registry has been in the works for many years, says Dr. Shah. “Jeremy Durack, MD, created a vision for the IR registry nearly 10 years ago. His work, as well as the work of others such as Jeremy Collins, MD, Justin McWilliams, MD, and Katharine Krol, MD, have allowed the registry to get to here.”

According to Dr. Shah, the VIRTEX registry has a diverse group of stakeholders involved with the development of the registry each with specific goals to target. “It is led by a representative group of individuals including members of SIR and the SIR Foundation leadership. The quality improvement aspect of VIRTEX is led by me and members of SIR’s Quality and Performance Improvement Committee: Drew Caplin, MD; Resmi Charalel, MD; and Juan Gimenez, MD. SIR’s Executive Council has given the registry team its full support and are key champions of this effort.”

VIRTEX is anticipated to roll out in late November 2020 and SIR is currently recruiting practices and institutions to participate as pilot sites. More enrollment information can be found on their website here.

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