Testimonials for APPROACH

Regina General Hospital - Regina, Saskatchewan

I am pleased to provide this letter of support for the value of the APPROACH© software. APPROACH© has become an invaluable resource for the cardiology community in Regina.

Implementation of the APPROACH software went smoothly in 2000. At the time of implementation we had an onsite coordinator – Karen Dickson who assisted with implementation, training and scheduling. The integration of the APPROACH system into the cathlab was seamless and the users were pleased that the system was user-friendly.

There have been a number of enhancements to the software since 2000. The APPROACH team strives to keep abreast of the ever changing world of cardiology and also computer technology.

Today entering data into the APPROACH© software is part of our daily activities. Through this information we gain insights into the cardiac care of our patients.

- Dr. Rob Zimmerman, MD

Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta - Calgary, Alberta

I am pleased to provide this letter of support for the importance of and the utility of the APPROACH© software, in particular, and for the APPROACH© enterprise, in general. APPROACH© has become an invaluable resource for the Department of Cardiac Science, for the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, for the province of Alberta, and for the nation.

APPROACH© began in 1995 as a provincial inception-cohort database that entered patients at the point of cardiac catheterization and subsequently enhanced the database with follow-up outcomes including health care utilization, cost, and quality of life. In this form, APPROACH© rapidly proved its utility to individual practitioners (in the form of patient data and coronary angiography pictorial summary results), to research teams (in the form of rich and reliable data for analysis), to local administrators (in the form of utilization and outcome reports), and to provincial administrators (in the form of reports regarding waiting times and outcomes). The many functionalities of the APRROACH© database lead to its adoption by many national environments leading to an inter-provincial collaboration that has become the gold-standard for tracking, reporting, and comparing outcomes after cardiac catheterization.

In 2004, APPROACH© began the process of moving the inception point for inclusion into the database back in the patient’s history from the point of cardiac catheterization to the point of admission to hospital with a coronary heart disease diagnosis. The data collection groups have added nuclear cardiology procedures to the previously collected demographic, cardiac catheterization, and cardiac surgery data sets. Furthermore, work is underway to expand the collection elements to include patients with cardiac electrophysiology disorders. When this change of inception point is completed, the APPROACH© database will advance from the most powerful tool of its kind in existence to a tool unlike any other in existence.

The surest marker of the value of any enterprise to any administrative group is the willingness of that administrative group to pay for the product of that enterprise. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the Calgary Health Region, the Capital Health Region, and Alberta Health and Wellness have all provided funds to receive regular APPROACH© database reports. I have no doubt that this willingness will continue to grow.

In closing, you have my personal commitment, the commitment of the Department of Cardiac Sciences, and the commitment of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta to continue to do all that is possible to ensure continuation of our very productive association with APPROACH©.

- Dr. L. Brent Mitchell, MD

The Mazankowski Heart Institute - Edmonton, Alberta

I am pleased to provide an overview of the multiple uses and importance of the APPROACH Program to the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute as well as the national cardiovascular community.

What started out as collaboration between Calgary and Edmonton has flourished to extend too many other provinces in Canada. Here in Alberta, the information from APPROACH has been instrumental in understanding the effectiveness of our tertiary care cardiac services. To have access to in-depth clinical outcomes and quality of life data on patients who have undergone cardiac catheterization, percutaneous angioplasty or cardiac surgery has enabled us to have a high quality scorecard for these services. This information has also been instrumental in the planning of future services and trends in our cardiac population.

The recent agreement to add the APPROACH catheterization report to our electronic medical records is an important step forward. The potential ability to link various cardiac data bases into a common cardiac data repository is a high priority of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. Over many years, the APPROACH data analysts and programmers have been helpful in our efforts to combine the clinical information from APPROACH with our other Provincial and regional administrative data bases. In addition, APPROACH has been an important part of the evaluation plans of the Alberta Cardiac Access Collaborative.

Over the past ten years, the APPROACH data base and program has had a positive impact on cardiovascular research in Canada. What is particularly impressive is the use of the data base by trainees, fellows, members of the Departments of Medicine and Surgery, Cardiac Sciences, Phanmacology, the Faculty of Nursing as well as various clinical outcome groups. We have used the APPROACH data in support of our service planning for future growth as well as in our rationale for expanded and/or improved cardiac services.

Finally, APPROACH has played an important role in tying together the cardiac research groups from across the country. They annually organize a meeting where all regions across Canada are represented and opportunities to learn and network are facilitated.

The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute values its partnership with APPROACH and looks forward to many years of successful collaboration.

- Dr. David E. Johnstone, MD, FRCPC, FACC