Industry Talks IT: Innovation, What Cardiologists Want & What’s Next

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 - cvb roundtable

Cardiovascular Business asked practicing cardiologists about the top information technology issues on their minds. Then we invited representatives from five cardiovascular information technology (CVIT) companies to join us for a roundtable discussion. Participants include:

  • Don Woodlock, Vice President and General Manager of Cardiology IT at GE Healthcare
  • Ohad Arazi, General Manager of Cardiology at McKesson
  • Bob Schallhorn, Senior Vice President of Solutions Management at Merge Healthcare
  • Ivan Salgo, MD, MBA, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions at Philips
  • Robert Taylor, PhD, Vice President of Global Business Development and Technology Innovation, Digital Health Services, at Siemens Healthcare

How are your cardiology customers pushing the envelope with cardiovascular information technology (CVIT) to improve healthcare and reduce costs?

Web Exclusive: CVIT Panelists Tackle Pros & Cons of Copy-and-Paste
How do you view the pros and cons of copy-and-paste in the EMR? How does copy-and-paste make documentation easier vs. leading to note-bloat or inadvertent upcoding?

Don Woodlock: The most innovative customers are unifying their cardiology departments into one enterprise CVIT infrastructure, and they are moving to structured documentation. That’s difficult, but it adds a lot of value in terms of analytics to understand which procedures, devices and approaches are better for their patients, more streamlined for the organization and a better value for their care system.

Ohad Arazi: Our customers who are pushing the envelope are using CVIT as a single point of connectivity to the EMR because they’re able to integrate the massive medical record with their CVIT to get a comprehensive view of the patient and drive point-of-care decisions. A second theme is mobility: access to information on the go. The more innovative customers are now able to drive [decision making] from a mobile device.

Bob Schallhorn: The clients who are really pushing the envelope are those leveraging the technology to be able to do extended collaboration. So many of the procedures now are shared, in a sense. They may need to involve a radiologist or other clinicians or be able to review this with their colleagues. Being able to provide technology that allows for collaboration, image sharing, data sharing, and so on. In addition, being able to integrate with all of the business systems—billing and inventory, for example—is critical from a controlling costs perspective.

Ivan Salgo, MD, MBA: We’re seeing some of our more forward-looking customers addressing the eventual shift from volume to value in the context, for example, of [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] moving forward with value-based care. [They] are actually looking at deeper aspects of the data and comparing that with society guidelines … seeing how they can integrate all of the disparate information so that they can provide a unifying message to the clinicians in the context of guidelines.

Robert Taylor, PhD: There’s a strong compliance need for appropriate use criteria (AUC) that is becoming a very important factor. The most progressive institutions are typically large distributed health systems, and they may have a main campus where they are actively using AUC or documenting the decisions that drive their selection of care paths. They try to propagate this through the rest of the health system. Getting this kind of compliance system-wide is very challenging, and it puts a strong requirement and opportunity in front of CVIS vendors.

Cardiologists told us they need systems that will make it easier for them to share information with their referring providers who may or may not be within their own health systems as well as with patients. Do you view shared decision-making as a priority for CVIS?

Arazi: Interoperability has to evolve around the tools that are already in place. The physicians, the referring physicians, live inside the EMR, and interoperability between cardiovascular information systems and the EMR is going to be a key. Avoiding double-charting or avoiding errors that could stem from information being replicated twice or being out of sync. I think access to tools and joining those two worlds—a confluence of minds—is going to help with cardiology being more integrated into the continuum that occurs outside of the department or outside of their cardiovascular practice.

Cardiologists touch patients all the time and yet how