Cardiac Imaging Opportunities, News & More
Regardless of size or location, every organization’s cardiology department faces similar challenges. Whether it is lost time from inefficient workflows or mounting pressures to improve quality of care, these challenges have a significant impact on business performance and care outcomes. Technology for cardiac imaging is the key to improving performance.
In this section, you will find insights and opportunities to help you meet the challenges that arise in your healthcare organization. Value-based care, ICD-10, cardiology patient engagement and 3D echoes are only a few of the topics discussed by McKesson industry experts and guest authors.
Start improving your cardiac imaging and cardiology department today by reading the blog posts below.
Cardiac care technology is advancing at an impressive rate. It seems like every month brings a new imaging technique, treatment option, or research finding with a lasting impact on how cardiac care is delivered or managed.
Cardiology imaging specialists have a unique role to play in the continued development of cardiac care. Innovations in technology require experienced, knowledgeable experts who can discern if, when, and how the new technology can be used to improve patient outcomes.
This month’s cardiology imaging roundup features two articles about breakthroughs in treatment, and two that ponder the implications of ever-evolving technology.
The last few years have brought increasing numbers of hospital, imaging center and ambulatory care mergers and acquisitions (M&A), all of which has created a number of challenges for diagnostic imaging. According to Modern Healthcare: Mergers & Acquisitions Database, 95 US hospitals and 84 outpatient imaging centers were affected by M&A activity in 2015. Pressures that continue to drive M&A activity are declining imaging volume growth, reduction of reimbursements, and the ever-present shift to value-based care. This has all driven the need for cost efficiencies and the ability to better manage patient populations.
When investing in a cardiovascular information solution (CVIS), many organizations choose only the core modules they feel will be most impactful. They reduce the initial investment by focusing on a few key areas, then rely on third-party workarounds to cover the rest of the department.
This multi-vendor approach can lead to a higher lifetime cost of ownership. A patchwork system requires multiple points of integration with the EMR. This means more maintenance for IT and more possible points of failure. It can also be a drain on time and resources, requiring redundant human effort for tasks an integrated system can perform automatically.
Advances in technology are poised to revolutionize value-based care throughout health care systems, and especially in the cardiology department. Non-invasive procedures, automated diagnostic tools, and more accurate imaging can all help improve risk assessment and treatment plan development.
Second-generation TAVR valves were a major topic of discussion at ACC 2016. These valves show promising results versus open-chest surgery for high and intermediate-risk patients. It is expected that further study will show the procedure is recommended for low-risk patients as well, making the cath lab an ever more important part of the cardiology department.
Since it was founded in 1949, the American College of Cardiology has been committed to educating practicing cardiologists, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge among clinicians in the field. This year’s ACC.16, the college’s 65th annual scientific session and expo, was an excellent example of that commitment in action. Over the course of three days, cardiologists and representatives from health care systems shared the results of clinical studies, explored the cutting edge of cardiology technology, and looked at the trends that will shape the future.
Here are the three big takeaways from our time as attendees at this year’s expo.
The health care industry has historically been slow to adopt new technologies and methodologies. But the accelerated rate of technological advancement, combined with a mandate to improve outcomes while controlling costs, is compelling health care systems to explore new solutions.
Health care systems that embrace interoperability, consolidation of data, and intelligent analytics will be equipped to provide higher-quality patient care. Adopting these technological solutions is particularly important to help create a more efficient and patient-centric cardiology workflow.
As we look ahead to ACC.16, it’s important to take stock of the current trends that are reshaping cardiology workflow and imaging. Read on to see what’s happening now and what is just around the corner.
Editor’s Note: The following article by Dave Pearson is posted on imagingbiz.com and is reprinted here with permission.
A full year has gone by since 425-bed Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles went live with a new enterprise-wide EMR solution from Cerner. The hospital likes what it’s seeing, but as capable as the system is for most departments, its cardiovascular reporting modules have not shown to be as versatile nor as precise as those in the McKesson CVIS, Northridge’s CardioVascular Center has been using since 2006.
The current state of the healthcare industry can best be summed up by the late, great David Bowie in one word: “Ch-ch-ch-changes.”
The ICD-10 changeover went smoothly — until it didn’t, and health care systems are challenged to stay efficient while accurately implementing the new codes. Outcome-based revenue models require a new level of comprehensive health management. VNA solutions offer the promise of greater efficiency, streamlined workflows and better outcomes, but with a learning curve.
All of these changes — even with the challenges they present — offer great promise for a better-functioning health care system in the future.
As transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) becomes more widely used across the US, TAVR specialists are realizing that the measurement method being used (CT angiography, transesophageal echocardiography, or traditional echocardiography) to determine the correct valve size is less important than storing those measurements in a central repository for later analysis.
With TAVR, a catheter is inserted in the groin and passed up to the heart (the procedure can also be done through the chest wall), avoiding the need for open-heart surgery. A replacement valve is compressed, advanced through the tube to the correct position within the aortic valve, and expanded. Some TAVR valves are mounted on a balloon to help with expansion; others are self-expanding.
What makes a harmonious data relationship in cardiac imaging? All communications between cath labs and the EHR flow seamlessly, and new technologies are integrated swiftly without disruption. That flow is critical for cardiac providers to avoid duplicate data entries and burdensome manual processes when they file reports.
Cardiologists can establish such harmony in their department by integrating a centralized cardiovascular information system (CVIS) with hemodynamic systems and their EHR. Not only will this increase data processing efficiencies on the back end, it will also generate faster front-end workflows and meet emerging federal integration requirements.