Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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Watchman: What is it, and should CV programs invest in it?

by Julie Bass June 9, 2016

Atrial fibrillation (AF) prevalence in the United States is on a steep incline—it’s expected to increase to 12.1 million by 2030 and 15.9 million by 2050. With this huge uptick in prevalence, CV programs are looking to double down on optimizing treatment plans and further decreasing stroke risk in AF patients.

While many CV programs are using anticoagulants to decrease stroke risk, other programs are considering new alternatives—like the Watchman device—to further reduce the risk. Before adopting Watchman into an existing AF program, there are a few key factors planners and CV service line leaders need to consider.

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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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New study says we're closing the gender gap on TAVR short-term outcomes

by Marissa Schwartz May 18, 2016

The widespread growth of TAVR has created pressure to continually improve both short-term and long-term outcomes. Historically, studies have shown women to have a higher post-TAVR survival rate than men, but an increased risk of early bleeding. However, recent research presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) conference suggests that short-term outcomes are equalizing.

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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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