The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 1/4/16 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology and healthIT communities? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

2016 may bring slower patient growth, higher wages, more expensive drugs

Late 2015 data support health systems' anticipation that the demand surge from patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act would fade this year. Economists with the Altarum Institute say spending acceleration from the coverage expansion may have peaked last February. 

FDA clears Biotronik's peripheral stent 

The FDA has cleared Biotronik's Astron Peripheral Self-Expanding Nitinol Stent System, a device for improving luminal diameter in patients with iliac atherosclerotic lesions. The stent system is described as a self-expanding stent loaded on an over-the-wire delivery system. 

Patients increasingly turning to mobile health apps

More than 30 percent of consumers last year said they have at least one health app on their smartphones, and 60 percent are willing to have a video visit with a doctor through a mobile device, according to an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. An increased use of telehealth apps is one of the predictions for 2016 from the PwC Health Research Institute.

Diagnostic errors, measuring performance among top healthcare quality issues for New Year

Zeroing in on individual doctor performance, reducing diagnostic errors, standardizing performance measures, and rethinking the patient experience may be among the top agenda items for healthcare quality and safety leaders this year. There could also be a greater focus on individual doctor performance as it relates to value-based payment and quality reporting.

Family satisfaction increases when ICUs relax their visiting hours

A survey published in the American Journal of Critical Care shows patients benefit when families visit throughout the day and night. "These findings support open and patient-centered visitation guidelines in critical care settings," the researchers wrote.
 

The Right Tools for the Job 

Case study: Registry Participation Made Easy

Connecticut Children’s Hospital, one of U.S. News’ Best Children’s Hospitals for 2014-15, needed the tools to submit to the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database quickly and easily. The solution they found makes the whole process run smoothly. Read more. 
 

Posted by Wednesday, December 30, 2015 8:16:00 AM Categories: best practices case study data Lumedx Users

Reduce Errors, Structure Data for Most Efficient Uses 

Make Your Data Work for You

Did you know that 60 percent of healthcare data is unstructured? And that 18 percent of errors are the result of inadequate information? Let LUMEDX show you how to collect data once, and use it multiple times. Click here to find out how. 
 

Posted by Monday, December 28, 2015 9:11:00 AM Categories: analytics best practices case study Lumedx Users

Hospital Cuts Door-to-ECG Time in Half 

Case Study Highlights 50 Percent Reduction in Door-to-ECG Times

Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, has dramatically cut its door-to-ECG time, from 15-16 minutes down to 8 minutes.  The hospital has also greatly accelerated its custom reporting time, and can now run near real-time reports for its physicians, drilling down to exactly the data they need. Click here to learn how they do it. 

Posted by Tuesday, December 22, 2015 8:07:00 AM Categories: analytics best practices case study EHR Lumedx Users

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/21/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Mount Sinai heart director predicts cardio care will focus more on prevention

In the future, healthcare providers will put more emphasis on prevention, and (it is hoped) less on treating disease, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., said during a Dec. 17 panel discussion at the United Nations. Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, added that the transition “will require that cardiovascular specialists and healthcare workers are trained in ambulatory and home-based care.” 

Heart disease still top cause of deaths, but rate is decreasing in U.S.

Heart disease-related deaths are down, but still account for nearly one-third of all deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA's) annual Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. Cardiovascular disease caused 30.8 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2013 and is still the leading cause of death, with about 2,200 people dying of it daily in the United States. From 2003 to 2013, death rates attributed to cardiovascular disease declined 28.8 percent, the AHA reported.

Healthcare 2015: The year in review

Rising drug prices—including huge increases in the prices of some older drugs— lead Modern Healthcare’s list of top medical stories for 2015. Also on the radar: cyberattacks on health insurers, and the congressional breakthrough on “the long-standing headache of Medicare physician pay.”

Population health the big issue in healthcare IT

In the healthcare IT community, population health was one of the hot topics of 2015. That’s according to healthcareitnews.com, which closes the year with its 10 most-read population heath stories of 2015. One of the featured stories covers possible population health gains that could come about as patients become more engaged. 

Self-service kiosk lets patients share data with providers

A new self-service kiosk will allow patients and providers to share medical exam reports, radiology reports and medical images. Although it’s not yet available for commercial sale, Carestream Health’s MyVue Center Self-Service kiosk debuted recently at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America conference. 

Posted by Monday, December 21, 2015 12:14:00 PM Categories: cardiology data electronic health records health information technology health IT heart failure HIT hospitals

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/14/15 

Telehealth trend continues its upward climb

2015 sees digital health funding top $4.3 million

More than $4.3 million flowed into the digital health market this year, with consumer engagement tools, personal health tools, and tracking categories by themselves making up 23 percent of overall funding. Consumerization in healthcare is also driving mergers or funding deals, according to a report by Rock Health.

Doctor shortages, readmission fines drive up use of remote patient monitoring systems

A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the remote patient monitoring market will grow by 13.2 percent during the next five years. The market growth is thought to be caused in part by fear of readmissions penalties, an anticipated doctor shortage, and an increase of chronic health conditions.

Kaiser betting telehealth is the wave of the future

Kaiser Permanente Ventures has invested $10 million in Vidyo, a visual communications company that integrates hi-def video communications into workflow and patients’ electronic health records. Forbes reports that Vidyo is already used by clinicians at Mercy, American Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Philips, among others.

Adequate nursing staff increases survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest patients 

A new report finds that assigning fewer patients to each nurse and improving working conditions for those nurses can increase the number of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients who live to return home. Outcomes are better “when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the report’s authors said in an announcement.

STS issues new CABG guidelines

Physicians who perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should use arteries from the chest and forearm instead of veins from the leg in certain patients, according to guidelines from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The STS members who created the guidelines “found that targeting the left internal thoracic artery during CABG procedures was associated with improved survival, graft patency and freedom from cardiac events compared with saphenous vein grafts,” according to cardiovascularbusiness.com.

 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 12/7/15 

Good news, bad news: High cholesterol rates are down, but fewer than half of patients are taking their statins

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

The good news: High total cholesterol rates declining among U.S. adults

Rates of total high cholesterol and low high-density protein (HDL) in U.S. adults decreased between 2011 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  From 2009 to 2010, 13.4 percent of adults had high cholesterol and 21.3 percent had low HDL cholesterol. From 2011 to 2014, those percentages dropped to 12.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The bad news: Most patients not making changes to reduce cardio risk

Fewer than half of patients considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatments are actually implementing the treatments, which include exercising more, taking statin medication and losing weight. “Cholesterol treatment gaps” are greater among non-white ethnic groups in the United States than they are for Americans who are white.

Mood matters! Patients with negative emotions before interventional procedures have more adverse outcomes    

Adverse effects after angioplasty and interventional radiology procedures are more common in patients who are fearful or distressed prior to the procedures. Patients who went in with negative emotions were more likely than those with positive or neutral emotions to experience prolonged lack of oxygen, low or high blood pressure, post-operative bleeding or an abnormally slow heart rate.

Hospital staff don’t feel prepared for a mass casualty event

Are critical care and emergency room (ER) staff ready to handle the next terrorist or other mass casualty event? Two-thirds of the physicians and nurses surveyed recently said no. They’re concerned about shortages of available surgeons, beds and blood supplies. 

What healthcare leaders must do to improve patient outcomes

Outcomes-based patient care requires a paradigm shift that has yet to occur for many in healthcare management, according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Successfully adapting to this new business model requires investing time and money over the long haul, plus taking two other key actions, the post says.

Hospitals drowning in paperwork 

Did you know that in many hospitals, every two hours of patient care causes one hour of paperwork? It's even worse for emergency rooms, which have a 1-to-1 ratio of paperwork to patient care. Those are just two of the findings in "Patients or Paperwork? The Regulatory Burden Facing America’s Hospitals." The report, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was commissioned by the AHA. 

For more healthcare facts, click here

And for the full report, click here

The best of healthcare news, week of 11/30/15 

The future of healthcare, according to one cardiologist

In the future, smart phones might help prevent heart attacks and strokes. That's according to Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Topol predicts that patients will use their smart phones to provide doctors with continuous data on themselves, as opposed to waiting for office visits--a practice that would provide for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Doctor strikes don't increase patient deaths

In wealthy countries, patient mortality doesn't suffer because of work stoppages by physicians, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates even fell during  some strikes. Researchers theorized that patient mortality didn't increase during strikes because hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and continued to offer emergency care, among other reasons. They also noted that many doctors continued to work during strikes, and theorized that those who worked were better rested, enabling them to provide better care.

Age a big determinant of stroke rates in adults with ACHD

Patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) face a substantially higher risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes than the general population, according to a retrospective study.  "Compared with the general population, patients with ACHD who were younger than 55 years old had a 9 to 12 times higher rate of ischemic stroke, and a 5 to 6 times higher rate of hemorrhagic stroke," the study found. "Patients with ACHD who were 55 to 64 years old had a 2 to 4 times higher rate of ischemic strokes." Heart failure, diabetes and recent MI were the biggest predictors of ischemic stroke. 

One-third of healthcare organizations leave records vulnerable to cyberattacks

Despite the prevalence of hacking, many hospitals haven't implemented strong web security programs, according to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics and Akamai, a content delivery network. More than 39 percent of hospitals in the survey reported that they don't have web application firewalls in place. And 35 percent of healthcare organizations are "vulnerable to a type of  cyberattack that is increasing in frequency and size across all industries," the survey said.

Paper demonstrates efficacy of repeat BAVs in high-risk population

Patients deemed to be at too high a risk for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) can benefit from balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV), according to a new study. "For patients in whom BAV is the only structural treatment available to relieve their symptomatology, repeat BAV performance is one of the only means to maintain symptomatic control in an otherwise very high-risk patient population," the study's authors note.

Posted by Wednesday, December 02, 2015 10:48:00 AM Categories: cardiology healthcare reform HIPAA hospital management hospitals

Best of Cardio and Healthcare News: Week of 11/23/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? We've captured the top industry stories from this week that you won't want to miss.

After Obamacare implementation, public still rates healthcare good or excellent

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) hasn’t changed how Americans rate their healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll. More than half of the respondents rated their healthcare good or excellent, but less than 24 percent were satisfied with healthcare costs. Healthcare coverage was rated positively by only 33 percent.

Diagnostic ECG waveform reading in Carestream Vue Motion viewer cleared by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given clearance for diagnostic reading of electrocardiogram (ECG) waveforms on mobile tablets and desktop displays using Carestream’s Vue Motion universal viewer. The new capability would allow physicians to give faster responses to ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and other serious heart conditions. It would also allow physicians to simultaneously view current and prior ECGs using tools that include pan, zoom, line measurement, caliper, and gain and speed adjustments.

Cardiac outcomes improved after using intravascular ultrasound in stent implantation

After one year, patients with long coronary lesions who were implanted with an intravascular ultrasound-guided everolimus-eluting stent had a significantly lower rate of major adverse cardiac events compared with those implanted with an angiography-guided stent, according to cardiovascularbusiness.com. “Patients were implanted with an everolimus-eluting stent (Xience prime, Abbott Vascular) for long coronary lesions and randomized to receive intravascular ultrasound-guided or angiographic-guided stent implantation immediately after their pre-PCI angiogram,” the site reports. One year later, 2.9 percent of patients undergoing intravascular ultrasound-guided stent implantation suffered major adverse cardiac events, compared with 5.8 percent of patients in the angiographic-guided group.

Cardio-diagnostic processes improve with smart ECG stethoscope attachment

Rijuven’s CardioSleeve for Pediatrics, the first device that adds electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities to transform stethoscopes into smart, mobile-connected devices, has been cleared by the FDA. The device, which can be attached to any stethoscope, can analyze for arrhythmia or murmur and identify heart failure. 

Number and severity of migraine headaches reduced by dual antiplatelet therapy following transcatheter ASD closure

The use of dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of clopidogrel and aspirin–as opposed to aspirin alone–led to fewer and less severe migraine headaches for patients undergoing transcatheter atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. That’s according to a randomized, double-blind trial. About 15 percent of patients had new-onset migraine episodes following transcatheter ASD closure, previous studies found. 

Remote monitoring system for patients with implantable pacemakers gets FDA approval

The first app-based remote monitoring system in the U.S. for patients with implantable pacemakers–called MyCareLink Smart Monitor–was approved by the FDA on Nov. 17. The system, manufactured by Medtronic, has a mobile app that is available for free on Android and Apple platforms. It also features a handheld portable device reader.

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