Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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Family members: A key ingredient for positive cardiac rehab outcomes

by Marissa Schwartz May 11, 2016

When patients experience a myocardial infarction (MI), they need help getting back on their feet. Enter cardiac rehab, with its demonstrated efficacy to smooth recovery and improve outcomes. For all rehab programs, a critical first step is empowering patients to take charge of their own health. Yet new research suggests empowerment can be facilitated by involving the family as well.

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Updated SCAI guidelines for cardiac cath lab best practices

by Julie Bass May 5, 2016

In 2012, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) published a revolutionary paper detailing best practices in the cardiac cath lab. Prior to the release of these guidelines, there had been no nationwide process standardization in cath labs.

This week, SCAI published the first update to the guidelines in the society’s official journal, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. The updates include best practices to improve the quality of care and patient experience from pre-procedure to post-procedure.

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New FDA approvals send waves into the arrhythmia world

by Julie Bass May 2, 2016

Two new FDA approvals are making waves in the arrhythmia world: the first MRI conditional cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) and the first commercially available leadless intracardiac transcatheter pacing system in the U.S. Keep reading to learn more about these devices and what they mean for your EP program.

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How to perfect cardiac cath peer review

by Jodi Askew April 27, 2016

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has promoted cardiac cath peer review as an essential component of quality improvement for procedures like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which has come under increasing scrutiny due to variation in utilization rates. SCAI has urged cath labs to establish methods for selected and random peer review, especially encouraging PCI programs to formalize ongoing peer review assessment of individual and aggregate outcomes against national and database benchmarks.

Programs that have followed suit have experienced substantial quality improvements. When East Carolina Heart Institute implemented a peer review processes for PCI cases by using its Cath PCI Registry database, the organization reduced inappropriate PCI for non-ACS by 73% in just one year.

Considering implementing at your organization? Read on to learn best practices for peer review in the cath lab, and how to implement a process at your organization.

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How Nebraska Methodist beats the national CABG readmission rate

by Julie Bass April 20, 2016

Nebraska Methodist Hospital, a 423-bed community hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, has developed a CABG readmission reduction initiative that includes customized cardiac surgery discharge education and teach-back scripting, standardized follow-up care at 24 hours, 72 hours, 1 week, and 3 weeks post-discharge, and hardwired cardiac rehab referrals. These strategies—and more—helped reduce Nebraska Methodist’s 30-day CABG readmission rate to 4.5%.

At the recent Cardiovascular Roundtable meeting in D.C., three members from Nebraska Methodist’s CV procedural readmission reduction leadership team—Karen Tesina, RN, MSN, CV Service Line Executive, Carrie Phillips, RN, BSN, Service Leader for Care Management, and Susana Harrington, APRN for Cardiac and Thoracic patients—joined us for a panel discussion to talk more about their efforts and answer your questions.

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FDA approves Impella device for cardiogenic shock

by Marissa Schwartz April 18, 2016

On April 7, Abiomed announced that its Impella devices had received FDA pre-market approval for treating ongoing cardiogenic shock following heart attack or heart surgery.

The Impella heart pumps—including Impella 2.5, CP, 5.0, and LD—are already approved for high-risk or protected PCI. With the approval of this new indication, the Impella line will become the first percutaneous temporary ventricular support devices FDA-approved for cardiogenic shock, which carries a high mortality risk.

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How CV specialists can be good medical home neighbors

by Marissa Schwartz April 14, 2016

Talk of patient-centered care is everywhere, but what does it actually look like for CV practices?

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Specialty-Practice Recognition (PCSCP) aims to answer this question by expanding the concepts of the patient-centered medical home to specialty practice. This program recognizes specialty practices—including CV—that meet standards for access, communication, and care coordination, and can be considered ideal “neighbors” for primary care-led patient-centered medical homes.

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Updated guidelines for dual antiplatelet therapy released

By Marissa Schwartz April 11, 2016

As CV programs migrate towards value-based care models, optimal medical management of CV patients becomes increasingly critical to prevent disease progression and costly downstream therapies. Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) provides a good illustration of this necessity.

Although DAPT is frequently employed to reduce risk in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who have received stents, effective medical management also entails optimizing length and intensity of treatment. The importance of a more comprehensive management approach was underscored in recently updated guidelines on DAPT released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA).

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