Population Health and Primary Prevention in the Spotlight

MartinThis post was authored by Gerard R. Martin, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC’s Population Health Policy and Health Promotion Committee.

We’re currently at a crossroads of health care delivery and health promotion. Up until now, we, as cardiovascular professionals, have been laser focused on secondary prevention, only scraping the surface of primary prevention. While technological and educational advances over the last few decades have resulted in a significant reduction of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the U.S., the burden of CVD is set to increase 57 percent by 2020 worldwide.

To adjust to this new landscape, we must shift the paradigm from treatment to prevention and begin moving towards population health if we want to kick CVD off the list as the world’s #1 killer. This is no easy task. Population health – which is at a complex intersection between an increasingly diverse population, an evolving health care system, traditional public health and elaborate social policies – is not easy to define. I can guarantee that each and every one of us has a different perspective on the topic, making it difficult to come to a consensus on how best to move forward. Continue reading

The Future of Graduating ACHD Fellows

ACC_10_05_13_0001This post was authored by Curt J. Daniels, MD, FACC, a member of the ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) Section, and a professor of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect occurring in about one in 100 live births. Incredible advancements in the care of children with CHD have led to improved quality of life and survival, and more patients today reach adulthood than ever before. Because of this, the proportion of children vs. adults with CHD has shifted over the last decade and there are now more adults than children living with CHD by a 2/3rd margin. This is fantastic news for the more than 40,000 infants born with CHD each year in the U.S. Continue reading

ACC on Capitol Hill: Health Information Blocking is a Threat to Patients and Practices

MIrroThis post was authored by Michael J. Mirro, MD, FACC, a member of the ACC’s Informatics and Health Information Technology Task Force.

Today, I had the opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill about the important issue of health information blocking, unforeseen problems that have been created by electronic health records (EHRs), and possible solutions to help improve care during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing titled “Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology: Information Blocking and Potential Solutions.”

This spring, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced their aim to accomplish five items related to interoperability of EHRs, including health information blocking, by the end of the year—whether through legislative means or an administrative fix. To accomplish this goal, the Senate HELP Committee has been hard at work soliciting feedback from stakeholder organizations, including the ACC, to help them pave a path forward. Continue reading

Advancing Health IT and Improving Patient Care

The ACC Informatics and Health Information Technology Task Force is charged with the infusion, coordination and harmonization of informatics and health information technology (HIT) into the activities and policies of the College. While Task Force members hail from across the U.S., they are united in their dedication to facilitating, promoting and accelerating the transformation of quality cardiovascular care. These members are hard at work addressing data interoperability, promoting electronic health record (EHR) adoption, coordinating EHR vendor engagement, developing tools and strategies to improve the operational efficiencies and effectiveness of ACC registries, and providing leadership and outreach to internal and external organizations. Continue reading

Remembering a Mentor: William C. Little, MD, FACC

This post was authored by ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC.

The cardiovascular community lost a master clinician, educator, advocate, researcher and mentor last week with the unexpected passing of William C. Little, MD, FACC.

Bill was an internationally renowned cardiologist with research interest in ventricular function. He is credited for research leading to a shift in thinking about atherosclerosis as a systemic process and the ensuing use of aspirin or statins. One of his major research accomplishments was the finding that acute cardiac events often occurred at sites of minimal stenosis. Continue reading

ACTION Registry-GWTG Exceeds 1,000 Participating Sites

Bhatt_HeadshotjollisThis post was authored by Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, and James G. Jollis, MD, FACC, co-chairs of the ACC’s ACTION Registry-GWTG steering committee.

ACC’s ACTION Registry-GWTG recently welcomed its 1,000th participating hospital – Florida Hospital Celebration Health. This marks an important milestone for the registry and for the larger cardiovascular community because it serves as evidence that the registry is and will continue to contribute to improved care and outcomes for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-STEMI patients. With a history of evolving to meet the demands of changing science and definitions of quality care, the registry has brought real, life-saving changes for this patient population. Continue reading

5 Tips For Integrating Sports Cardiology Into Your Practice

Dr.VyselaarThis post was authored by John Vyselaar, MD, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section.

Many of us have multiple roles in our work, and are very busy. I am privileged to consult for professional soccer and football teams, snowboarding and skiing organizations, and professional athletes from other sports. I also have been involved with high-level amateur athletes. However, I am a practicing full-time general cardiologist. I carry a heavy patient load, instruct medical students, residents and fellows, participate in clinical trials, and have become a co-leader of my division at my local hospital.

I hear a common refrain from many practicing cardiologists – they love sports and find sports cardiology fascinating, but are not sure how they could get involved or incorporate this into their busy lives. Here are five tips, from my own experience, that may be helpful: Continue reading

Mentorship in Fellowship

Akhil Narang headshotThis post was authored by Akhil Narang, MD, a fellow-in-training at the University of Chicago.

As the new academic year commences, there is a palpable energy on the wards. Fresh-faced first year cardiology fellows, subspecialty fellows, and newly minted junior attendings excitedly (and nervously) begin a new chapter in their academic career. As I reflect back upon my first year in general cardiology training, beyond the incredible amount of clinical cardiology knowledge I’ve gained, the most satisfying aspect of my fellowship thus far has been the mentorship I’ve been fortunate to experience. Continue reading

Is Your Electronic Health Record Working For You and Your Patients?

Shor HeadshotA recent New York Times article titled “Tech Rivalries Impede Digital Medical Record Sharing” addresses a critical issue for medicine – data blocking. In addition to high fees charged by some vendors for access to records, a lack of consistency in file formats among vendors prevents electronic medical records from meeting their potential to improve patient care.

Different electronic medical record vendors collect data in varying formats, making it difficult to share information without additional data entry and creating gaps that reduce the value of the health records to doctors and patients. If the issues of exorbitant fees and consistency across platforms are not addressed, electronic medical records will unfortunately be an added burden that does not meet its huge potential for advancing the quality of medical care in this nation.     Continue reading

The Opportunity of Cardiac Rehab

Melissa Tracy headshotThis post was authored by Melissa Tracy, MD, FACC, section chief, non-invasive cardiology, Division of Cardiology at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and a member of the ACC’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section Leadership Council.

We are a country of opportunity. We are a society of diversity. We should all be treated with the best care possible. A recent update on the regional referral to cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) after angioplasty published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that we are not doing just that.  We must change from a SICK care model to a HEALTH care model. Continue reading