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.


Structured Web Reporting Becoming the Standard to Help Improve Patient Care

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Structured Reporting Helps Physicians Provide CareAlthough health systems have been adopting electronic medical records because of financial incentives and meaningful use criteria, the utilization of that information can vary widely on a day-to-day basis.

Structured reporting represents the ideal, the ability for patient data, test and scan results, diagnosis information and more to flow among systems in a way that this information can easily be reviewed. Physicians and cardiologists should have access to the right information at the right time and in the right format so they can make the correct diagnosis and guide patient care with confidence.


Proving Value: What CMMI Level 5 Means for Imaging Software

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Use CMMI Level 5 to achieve high-performance operations.

When it comes to software development, CMMI Level 5 is the gold standard, taking five years on average to achieve and involving the highest possible performance. Developed by the CMMI Institute, the Capability Maturity Model Integration is a process improvement framework that helps organizations achieve high-performance operations.

Development teams that have achieved CMMI Level 5 are capable of reliably and sustainably creating robust applications that meet or exceed project goals.


Apple’s Plunge into mHealth Market Bodes Well for Emerging Segment

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Mobile Healthcare Applications Arena Continues to Grow with Apple Joining In from the Medical Imaging Talk Blog.Whether it’s consumer- or clinician-based, what’s critical to improving healthcare is data, and that data is going mobile.

The latest, and perhaps best, example of this is Apple’s HealthKit, a cloud-based platform that may catapult the company to the forefront of consumer mobile health (mHealth). The mobile healthcare application that Apple introduced alongside the platform is called Health, and it promises to monitor key health metrics and then pull together information from non-Apple apps to give consumers an inclusive view of their health.