I have said before that ACC’s Board of Governors (BOG) are the foot soldiers of the College, and with a teamwork-focused BOG, previously insurmountable changes can be more easily attainable. The power of the BOG recently came into play when Kentucky Chapter Governor-Elect Jesse Adams III, MD, FACC, reached out to his BOG colleagues to get their feedback and recommendations about a situation he was encountering at his hospital.
Dr. Adams noted that at one of the large local hospitals, administration decided to implement a policy that only intensivists would be able to write orders in the ICU. Dr. Adams approached the BOG to get their thoughts to see if type of model could be found anywhere else, and if specialist were prohibited to write orders in the ICU, how it would impact the hospital’s adherence with guidelines.
He received feedback and guidance from BOG leaders ranging from concerns about order writing, intensivists as the only primary team in this situation, and concerns about the patient. As Dr. Zoghbi noted, “to deny a cardiologist (and all other specialists in this situation) management of their patients, particularly in most acute medical conditions where they provide the expertise needed is completely unacceptable.” With this powerful feedback from ACC’s leaders, Dr. Adams then took the conversations to the administration and they rapidly clarified and modified the policy which now allows for optimal collaborative involvement of intensivists and cardiovascular specialists consistent with ACC/AHA guidelines.
As we have seen the landscape of cardiology change drastically over the past few years, situations like these are sure to occur in different forms. It is up to the leaders of the College to stand up and bring our expertise and guidance when something is wrong. By banning together to support one another, this advocacy becomes possible. Kudos to Dr. Adams, Dr. Juan Villafane, and the entire Kentucky Chapter, who not only had a successful chapter meeting last weekend, but also had a minor “win” for cardiology with this example. Job well done!