Creative conferencing

Two upcoming cardiovascular conferences are broadening their scope with programs that will help build electrophysiology teams and unify service lines.

Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) 2014 will kick off May 7 in San Francisco with an array of offerings that include a plenary session, summits, forums, specialty tracks, abstracts and the latest in technical and scientific advancements in electrophysiology and related fields. John D. Day, MD, chair of the scientific session program committee and director of Intermountain Heart Rhythm Specialists in Murray, Utah, said in an interview with Cardiovascular Business that this year’s event also reaches out to allied professionals with a program dedicated to nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Day described the program as a meeting within a meeting, an approach that is designed to provide the benefits of a boutique conference within the larger context of a major scientific session. The program will focus on patients with atrial fibrillation; it reflects the growing role that allied professionals play along with electrophysiologists in the care of these patients.

The program not only expands the “what” of the conference but also the “who.” Day observed that preregistration for allied professionals so far had exceeded 2013, a promising sign for attendance. Medical conferences in general have struggled during a funding drought in recent years to draw substantial crowds.    

HRS.14 runs through May 10.

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) also scheduled its annual scientific session for May. SCAI.14 will take place May 28-31 in Las Vegas. SCAI’s planning committee looked beyond the traditional conference lineup at needs in the field to introduce a novel program, an interactive leadership boot camp for cath lab directors and managers.

Charles E. Chambers, MD, president-elect of SCAI, and Robert J. Applegate, MD, chair of SCAI’s education committee, discussed the new initiative with Cardiovascular Business. They plan to continue offering the boot camp after 2014 and will refine and adapt it to meet changing needs in the industry. They may even take it on the road in the future.

“We literally are seeing an evolution as we go forward and this boot camp can help energize that,” Applegate said, referring to a heart team approach in the cath lab.

We will share more from the interview and other details about HRS.14 and SCAI.14 soon. Stay tuned for coverage from both conferences.

Candace Stuart

Cardiovascular Business, editor