Cardiac Imaging

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.

Meaningful Use Changes: Why the MU Team Isn’t Returning Your Calls Any More

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Meaningful Use Stage 3 Expectations CMS and ONC issued three Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) in quick succession during March and April that have a major effect on what to expect for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use (MU3). These NPRMs affect both the content of MU3 and also how it and earlier stages are likely to roll out. If you want, you can read the relevant 242 Federal Register pages here, here, and here. Take your time. I’ll wait.

People involved in imaging have had a few months now to fully digest these proposed rules. But there seems to be a lot of confusion out there. Many remain a bit puzzled by what it all means in practical terms.


How Mobile Radiology and Cardiology Help Improve Patient Care

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Mobile Radiology Anytime, AnywhereNearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 62 percent of them have used their phone in the last year to look up information about health conditions. As both patients and physicians rely on mobile devices in their daily lives, they are seeking ways to use their mobile technology in healthcare as well. Both mobile radiology and cardiology have an opportunity to bring value to clinicians and patients even as technology adapts to support real-world applications.

Mobile Radiology and Cardiology Help Speed Care


3 Ways to Help Control Costs and Reduce Unnecessary Cardiovascular Imaging Tests

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Cardiovascular Imaging TestA survey of nearly 500 emergency physicians found that 97 percent have personally ordered diagnostic tests that they knew were medically unnecessary.

The most common reasons they ordered unnecessary tests were:

– Fear of litigation

– To avoid missing a low-probability diagnosis

Unnecessary testing is costly and can lead to negative consequences for patients, such as false positives and unneeded radiation exposure. Healthcare executives should foster cardiovascular imaging best practices among staff to reduce unnecessary testing and patient risks. Promoting the utilization of appropriateness criteria, working toward interoperability and promoting patient awareness will help organizations follow best practices.


Mobile Opportunities in Imaging

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Mobile Imaging for CardiologistsEditor’s Note: This article has been reprinted, with permission, from the March 2015 edition of Partner Voice newsletter.

The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has transformed the way physicians can access healthcare information, including imaging. Vendors have tried to step up to the plate by offering myriad solutions to display data on mobile devices, but providers and their vendor partners would be wise to not lose focus on workflows.


ACC.15 and Today’s Hot Topics in Cardiology

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Physicians discussing cardiology trendsScientific breakthroughs, interactive learning, innovative technology – cardiology professionals around the world are traveling to ACC.15 to hear and see the latest advancements in cardiovascular health. The event, held March 14 to 16 in San Diego, will cover certain cardiology trends that are getting extra buzz. Here are a few of cardiology’s pressing topics and the related sessions on the agenda at ACC.15.

Buzzed About Topic # 1:  Integrated Imaging


Are you ready for ICD-10? Part II – Cardiology Documentation

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Cardiac Catheterization ICD-10 CodingIn an earlier post on ICD-10 readiness, I discussed the move to ICD-10 and why it will be a better system once we get used to it. As I mentioned in that post, there are certain requirements for documentation during cardiology procedures in order for the appropriate codes to be applied, and as a result, the appropriate reimbursement to occur.

Here are some guidelines and recommendations for documentation that should occur in the cardiac catheterization lab. These guidelines include the necessary information required. This post includes the required documentation for cardiac catheterization and PCI, as well as some of the new ICD-10 PC codes.


Cardiology in a Time of Change: A Viewpoint from the Front Lines

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Dr. Matthew T. Bramlet Physicians are some of the most “burned out” professionals in the country, with 46 percent of cardiologists reporting that they suffer from burnout. Changes in reimbursement, physician shortages and other changes in healthcare are affecting cardiology departments around the country.

In this Q&A, Matthew T. Bramlet, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, shares his viewpoint from the front lines of cardiology. He discusses cardiology trends, challenges and changes he’d like to see that support care improvements in this era of change.


3D Echo Coming of Age to Monitor Heart Function in Cancer Patients

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3D Echo Technology

Photo Courtesy of TomTec Imaging Systems

In today’s medical environment, oncologists have a seemingly endless supply of new drugs and treatment modalities that work toward curing patients of cancer. Aggressive cancers require aggressive treatments, but at the same time, care must be taken to protect the overall health of patients.

The result is a delicate balance among the often-harsh radiation and/or chemotherapy drugs necessary to shrink tumors, the potential for debilitating side effects and the real risk of permanent damage to unaffected parts of the body, such as the heart. Many of the drugs used in chemotherapy are toxic to the cardiac muscle and can lead to irreversible heart damage.


5 Ways Cardiology Supports Value-Based Care

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Value-based Care Supported by Cardiology


According to a recent survey of healthcare organizations, 95 percent of respondents reported having some value-based care currently in place, with 57 percent having pilot programs underway or completed. In an era of transitioning to new reimbursement models, every department is being called on to support value-based care, including cardiology. For department leaders seeking possible tactics to support their organization, here are five ways that cardiology departments can support value-based care initiatives.



Tools that Support Cardiology Patient Engagement

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Tools for Cardiology Patient Engagement A recent report from the American Heart Association, ACC and other professional healthcare organizations highlights the importance of shared accountability when it comes to patient care and outcomes. The groups maintain that as cardiologists and other clinicians are increasingly evaluated based on performance measurements, the role that patients take regarding their own care should have weight.

Incorporating the performance of both physicians and patients can support patient-centered outcomes. Cardiology tools that facilitate patient engagement and help improve communication between health team members will become increasingly important in a shared-accountability environment.