Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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The 'heart team'—defined

by Andrea Titus May 24, 2016

If you’re an administrator of a CV service line, you’ve no doubt heard the phrase “heart team.” It’s a seductive term, promising a spirit of collaborative, multidisciplinary decision-making. But it’s also hard to define. What actually is the heart team in practice? Who are the team members, and how do they guide the patient care pathway in different institutional contexts?

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Symposium (TCT)—the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s hub for covering interventional cardiology news—has been digging into these questions over the past several months, surveying over 250 of their global members (primarily clinicians) on how they use heart teams at their hospitals. Here’s what we’ve learned from their work thus far.

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How Carolinas HealthCare System cut its CABG readmission rate in half

by Julie Bass April 6, 2016

In 2014, Carolinas HealthCare System—a system across North and South Carolina including three hospitals in the Charlotte region that comprise the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute—launched a comprehensive CV procedural readmission reduction initiative in preparation for greater scrutiny for these conditions. Their data-driven, multidisciplinary, and cross-continuum approach has yielded great success already: just one year after beginning the initiative, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) reduced 30-day CABG readmissions to any site from 15.3% to 7.1% combined across all three hospitals.

At the recent Cardiovascular Roundtable meeting in Atlanta, two members of SHVI CV leadership team—Tom Draper, Assistant VP of Surgical Services and President-Elect of the AACVPR, and Stephen Wright, Assistant VP for Invasive Cardiology Services—joined us for a panel discussion to provide insight into their efforts for reducing procedural readmissions and answer member questions.

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Six things you need to know about critical limb ischemia

by Kristen Barlow November 18, 2015

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the most severe form of peripheral vascular disease. It’s an underappreciated epidemic, and despite a dramatic increase in health care spending to combat the disease, it has a very poor prognosis. We can and should do much more to improve outcomes. That was the message delivered by Brian Contos, Executive Director of the Cardiovascular Roundtable, at this year’s VIVA conference in Las Vegas.

Here are his six take-home lessons.

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How (and why) to develop a cardio-oncology partnership

January 10, 2014

Andrew Hresko, Cardiovascular Roundtable

Cardiovascular Business recently published an article exploring the emerging field of cardio-oncology, which developed from the apparent relationship between cancer treatment and cardiomyopathy. Cardiologists and oncologists alike have begun creating protocols to screen cancer survivors for developing heart problems—and some are even pursuing multidisciplinary collaborations to care for the diseases jointly.

During our national meeting research, we found that several institutions are placing a new emphasis on improving care for these complex patients through cross-service line cardio-oncology collaborations.

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The CV care management dictionary

December 9, 2013

Andrew Hresko, Cardiovascular Roundtable

At our national meeting, we begin our CV care management presentation with a complicated word cloud and two big questions: What do all these new terms about patient care mean? Are they just catchy buzzwords?

Care management jargon certainly can be confusing. But parsing out the nuances between the often similar-in-name and related-in-function terms is an important step in developing a coordinated CV care management strategy. We’ve defined some of these complicated terms below to provide some clarity and identify the relationships between them.

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Build your multidisciplinary CV care team with these resources

August 19, 2013

Megan Tooley, Cardiovascular Roundtable

Recently, many of our members have asked us how to elevate multidisciplinary collaboration for complex patients, whether by implementing multidisciplinary rounding, convening multidisciplinary high-risk patient committees, or even developing polycondition clinics to address longitudinal needs of poly-chronic patients.

In truth, this comes as little surprise: as we discussed in our recent study, Blueprint for Cardiovascular Disease Centers, an increasingly comorbid and complex CV population is making it difficult for a single provider or service line to adequately address all of a patient’s needs. To create and carry out comprehensive, high-value care plans for these patients, programs need to ensure multidisciplinary collaboration between relevant providers and non-clinical support staff.

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What you need to know about aortic disease centers

July 19, 2013

Carly Anderson, Cardiovascular Roundtable

You’d like to develop a cardiovascular disease center—but where should you begin? At our 2012-13 national meeting, we discussed seven imperatives for developing any type of CV disease-centric program, and delved deeper into three areas of particular interest: heart failure, valve, and atrial fibrillation centers. But other disease-center programs also have substantial growth potential, such as aortic disease centers.

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Improved Outcomes for HF Patients Receiving Collaborative Post-Discharge Care

November 10, 2010

Heart failure patients discharged from the ED are at lower risk for morbidity and mortality within 30 days if they receive early care by both a cardiologist and primary-care physician (PCP) than if seen by either physician alone, according to a recent analysis published in Circulation.

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