The Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) began as a province-wide inception cohort of all adult Alberta residents undergoing cardiac catheterization for ischemic heart disease. As of September 2017, clinical information has been collected by APPROACH on over 240,000 adult Alberta residents. Use of the APPROACH platform has also expanded across Canada and now facilitates the measurement and reporting of cardiovascular care across more than 18 major cardiovascular centres in 8 provinces. Strengths of the APPROACH initiative include the prospective collection of detailed clinical, procedural, and treatment information, measured at point-of-care. While this aspect of APPROACH provides data users with several advantages over of use of typical administrative data, the ability to link APPROACH with data from multiple other sources has provided several unique opportunities to measure cardiovascular care and outcomes. This paper describes applied examples of work that has leveraged the potential of linking several external datasets with the APPROACH registry.
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