New medical director named to SVS Patient Safety Organization

Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen

Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen has been named the new medical director of the Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO). He will replace Jack Cronenwett, who has served as medical director since 2011. The SVS PSO is a part of the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) that also includes 17 regional quality improvement groups, and M2S, a commercial technology partner.

Jorgensen is director of the Vascular Center at Maine Medical Center, professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He was formerly the chief of the division of vascular surgery at Maine Medical Center and director of a 14-physician practice. Along with Cronenwett, he is one of the founding members of the Vascular Study Group of New England, the oldest regional study group.

“When Jack convened a meeting in 2002 to discuss the formation of the Vascular Study Group of Northern New England we had no idea where it would lead,” Jorgensen said. “We started with eight hospitals and 22 surgeons. Now, 14 years later, there are 385 centres, 2,800 participating providers, and more than 300,000 patients in the database. The growth and success of VQI has been well beyond what we imagined at the outset.”

Jorgensen was elected the group’s representative to the governing council of the Vascular Quality Initiative and later to its executive committee, where he chaired the long-term follow-up committee.

“At my institution we have used VQI data to develop clinical protocols, create provider and divisional scorecards and improve operational efficiency,” he explained. “The data from our registry helped us improve efficiency and enhance staff and patient experience.” That takes some finesse, he acknowledged, since not all of his colleagues are excited about data collection.

“I have been able to engage my colleagues and hospital administrators in an effort that I am convinced improves care and saves money,” he said. “More importantly, the use of detailed and defined outcomes data allows us to make evidence-based decisions for our patients, and that is what we are all here for.”

In his new role, Jorgensen is looking forward to focusing on his interest in patient outcomes and quality. “The success of VQI has been greatly dependent on Jack Cronenwett’s vision and direction—not to mention a tremendous volunteer effort from our physician participants,” Jorgensen said. “I would like to build on Jack’s legacy and take the Organization into the next decade.”