About COAP – Overview

An Overview of COAP

The Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program (COAP) is a regional quality collaborative that leverages medical leadership and clinical, administrative, and financial data to establish and drive best practices in cardiac care. Our purpose is to support all hospitals and clinicians in achieving the highest levels of patient care and outcomes.

COAP operates under the auspices of the Foundation for Health Care Quality (FHCQ), a nationally recognized not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation which is the sponsor for, and home of, a number of programs addressing patient safety, variability, outcomes and quality in various medical and surgical services. COAP adheres to the confidential reporting requirements defined in individual contracts with hospitals, as well as the legal parameters defined by the state statute relevant to coordinated quality of care programs (RCW 43.70.510). The program provides a neutral forum where clinicians from across the state can evaluate and discuss patient and process outcomes, identify areas for quality improvement, and share practices. In keeping with industry movement towards greater transparency, all COAP members have agreed to participate in a voluntary public release of their outcomes data.

The COAP Community

All hospitals in Washington State that provide adult cardiac surgery and/or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) participate in COAP, producing a rigorous database that allows the State to identify areas for quality improvement and collaborate on improvement efforts. A voluntary physician-led management committee oversees all aspects of the COAP program. COAP’s Management Committee is made up of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, quality improvement professionals, payers, and hospital administrators from across the state. COAP’s partners in its key activities include the following organizations:

  • Washington State Health Care Authority
  • Washington State Department of Health
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • Washington State Hospital Association
  • Qualis Health
  • The University of Washington
  • The Northern New England Cardiovascular Study Group
  • Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), Yale University
  • Washington Emergency Cardiac & Stroke System
  • American Heart Association
  • Virginia Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative
  • Michigan Society of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Initiative
  • Washington Health Alliance
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • ARMUS Corporation – data partner for FHCQ

COAP maintains close communication with the Association of Washington Health Plans, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, and other organizations and individuals.

In an effort to minimize duplication of data collection and allow for comparison with national standards, COAP’s data bases are synchronized with the national registries for both PCI and cardiac surgery. Data management provided by Armus Corporation occurs under the highest degree of security. Comprehensive reporting tools allow for real-time data analysis and timely, customized reporting. Reports can be run at both hospital and physician levels, with options to compare outcomes against individual hospitals or the statewide aggregate.

COAP Highlights

  • COAP facilitates periodic collaborative meetings to engage the statewide cardiac community in quality improvement activities with a focus on improving specific outcomes for cardiovascular surgery, and for optimizing and standardizing care for patients undergoing PCI procedures.
  • COAP shares the results of this quality improvement process with wider audiences through presentations at national meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has been successful in achieving grant funding for focused analytic activities.
  • COAP publicly reports on a number of measures and includes best practice benchmark comparisons on its website.
  • COAP identifies hospitals that are excelling in an area and encourages them to document their practices and processes; these best practices are posted in Member Links.
  • COAP continues to explore ways to broaden participation in this effort by creating new partnerships, working with other cardiac registries, and co-sponsoring events focused on cardiac care.
  • COAP is a nationally-recognized model of collaborative, physician-led quality improvement efforts.