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In the not-so-long-ago early days of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), most eyes focused on the physicians who performed the procedures even as behind-the-scenes contributions from nursing also helped make TAVR a success story. Recognition of their value also is raising nursing’s profile in the cardiovascular community.

Learning by doing

When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its national coverage determination for TAVR in 2012, it specified that programs establish a heart team with cardiovascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists as well as “additional members … such as echocardiographers, imaging specialists, heart failure specialists, cardiac anesthesiologists, intensivists, nurses and social workers.” The agency...

 - Kathy Boyd David
Challenges is a word we hear all too often in healthcare. In this issue, challenge unites our articles.
 - analytics
Cardiovascular information technology analytics offer opportunities to improve care, reduce costs and deliver better healthcare experiences for patients. 
 - heart
Will new rules proposed for donor heart allocation provide a lifeline for the sickest patients or add complexity and cost to a system that struggles to achieve fairness and efficiency?
 - check mark
Medicare’s decision to get “deadly serious” about interoperability is an invitation for cardiologists to work with their medical societies, vendors and office staff.
 - direction
Is a new testing strategy evolving for the evaluation of patients with stable chest pain? 
 - data registry
CIEDs with remote monitoring capabilities can provide a wealth of information, yet some physicians and hospitals aren’t making the most of this resource.
 - Jonathon A. Leipsic, MD
Analysis Suggests Expanded Role for CCTA in Heart Disease Treatment
 - Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH
The explosion of cardiovascular data registries, and their vast research output, has become the major proof point for field’s commitment to continuous quality improvement.  
 - Jeffrey M. Schussler, MD
Could precision medicine reshape how cardiologists evaluate and treat chest pain, potentially reducing costs and increasing patient safety?
 - Mahir Elder, MD
At one hospital, an aggressive treatment PE treatment program has dramatically reduced mortality.
Special Section
 - BUMC Phoenix PCI
To make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care is both mission and mantra at Banner Health.
 - Linda Paxton, BSN, MBA
ACVP discusses how associations contribute to their members’ careers and the quality of healthcare.