Insights from the Outpatient Registry: User Satisfaction & Benefits

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 - Nathan Glusenkamp
Nathan Glusenkamp, Director, ACC Outpatient Registries

The American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE Registry is cardiology's largest outpatient quality improvement registry. Over the last several years it has grown to include 4.16 million patients with 17.3 million patient encounters across 170 practices, providing insights on real-world management of coronary artery disease, hypertension, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

To sustain the PINNACLE Registry’s rapid growth, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) regularly gathers feedback from participants and looks closely at ways that PINNACLE can offer value to current and future users. In the most recent user survey, the majority of PINNACLE participants said they are very satisfied with the registry.

In particular, more than two out of five users (42 percent) noted the submission of their data for federal incentive programs like the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) was among the top registry benefits, followed by its national benchmark reports and quarterly performance reports. Almost half of practices (46 percent) said they are using PINNACLE Registry Performance Reports to inform quality improvement activities. 

Another PINNACLE feature vital to user satisfaction is the improved ease of data collection. Currently, practices spend on average slightly more than one hour per week (1.1 hours per week) working on the PINNACLE Registry, a figure that has shown dramatic improvement over the past four years.

The survey findings also indicate clear opportunities for the ACC to share the benefits of the PINNACLE Registry with new participants, particularly those with EHR systems and those seeking ways to participate in programs like PQRS or to meet the EHR Incentive Program Stage 2 option for reporting to a specialized registry. Participation in these programs helps practices avoid penalties and earn incentives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Even participants who do not use PINNACLE as their PQRS submission method—about half do not—may find value in the performance rates and benchmarks that PINNACLE reports provide regularly. 

Many participants also expressed interest in the PINNACLE Registry Research Alliance, which can help to identify patients for participation in clinical trials or can identify new investigator sites for trials. Users also show support for the new Diabetes Collaborative Registry, which will be a seamless interface with the current PINNACLE Registry system and allow for much-needed data collection across the spectrum of diabetes and cardiometabolic disease management. 

The PINNACLE Registry offers many opportunities for practices and providers to not only thrive in the changing healthcare environment, but also to continue to successfully practice care in a way that ensures the best, most appropriate care possible. Moving forward, the ACC plans to leverage the data and feedback from PINNACLE Registry users to continue to make a difference in patient care and outcomes.

To learn more about the PINNACLE Registry, visit