A recent Canadian study, published in the February 2012 issue of the American Heart Journal adds fuel to the ongoing debate over who should be caring for heart failure patients. Researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, ON have been able to better determine the reason for differing outcomes in heart failure patients depending on the type of physician administering care.
Overall, the study found that patients treated by cardiologists fared better than those treated by generalists, though the authors caveat that their conclusions are “multifactorial and complex.”
Education is key for generalists managing heart failure
The Cardiovascular Roundtable recently launched an ambitious benchmarking initiative to assess members' experience developing and managing integrated heart and vascular programs. Insights gleaned from the contributions of 126 participants are now available in our latest study, "The Heart and Vascular Integration Benchmarking Initiative Results."
While efforts to bring vascular services into the cardiac service line are not new, for many programs progression has been somewhat slow and foundational challenges persist on several fronts: structuring the service line, achieving collaboration across specialties, defining principled standards for credentialing, and so on.
Benchmark Your Heart and Vascular Program Strategy
An analysis of NCDR Cath PCI registry showed that overall only 4.1 percent of PCIs were classified as inappropriate according to the 2009 coronary revascularization appropriate use criteria. However, there remains an opportunity to reduce unnecessary elective procedures.
Dr. Paul Chan from St. Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, presented results from a retrospective analysis of the NCDR Cath PCI registry at the American College of Cardiology's 2011 Scientific Session. The study includes over half a million procedures that were performed between July 2009 and June 2010 and is the largest of its kind. When PCI utilization was analyzed in aggregate, 84.6 percent of the procedures were classified as appropriate, 4.1 percent were deemed inappropriate, and 11.2 percent were classified as uncertain according to the coronary revascularization appropriate use criteria.
ACC Conference: Only 4.1 Percent of PCIs Inappropriate, but Opportunity Remains to Reduce Unnecessary Elective Procedures