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Practice Management

 - ambulance, EMS

Survival stats shot upward after a consortium in Arizona implemented statewide protocols to triage patients to the nearest cardiac care center as opposed to a hospital. The findings were published online July 23 in Annals of Emergency Medicine. 

 - gold empty scales

Since the 1990s, well-meaning physicians have prescribed pregnant patients low-molecular weight heparin to combat complications, especially when thrombophilia or previous complications pose a risk to the mother and child. However, research suggests that there are no benefits and greater risks of increased minor bleeding when taking anticoagulant agents.

 - cholesterol

More than half of respondents chose to go against guideline recommendations for a hypothetical patient whose risk score made him a candidate for statin therapy in poll results published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

 - Decision aids help inform prostate cancer screening

There are many benefits to shared decision-making with patients. Informed patients make better decisions and have more meaningful and frank health discussions with their physicians, but there are as many barriers to an open conversation and shared decision between doctor and patient as there are benefits.

 - anticoagulants

The journal BMJ took aim at the anticoagulant dabigatran and its manufacturer in a three-pronged package published online July 23 that catalogued the drug’s tumultuous pre-approval and post-approval journeys in the U.S. and Europe. Maker Boehringer Ingelheim called the stories unbalanced.


More Stories

A plum for Cleveland: Clinic gets top cardiology ranking

The Cleveland Clinic topped the list of best hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking by specialty. The report includes a scorecard for 708 hospitals across the U.S.

Genetic study questions wine’s cardiovascular benefits

A glass of wine may not be as heart-smart as previously believed. An international research team looking at a gene variant that reduced alcohol consumption found that in those people who consumed less alcohol, markers for cardiovascular disease were also reduced.

Senate panel puts CMS in hot seat over onerous audits

In response to complaints about burdensome and costly Medicare audits and reviews, a Senate committee convened a roundtable July 9 to dissect the problem and issued recommendations to streamline the process in the future.

Most cardiac patients commit medication errors after discharge

Only 40 percent of patients with acute coronary syndrome or acute decompensated heart failure in a prospective study were able to correctly identify individual medications, dose and frequency after they left the hospital, highlighting a major problem.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb recalls injectable Coumadin

Bristol-Meyers Squibb issued a voluntary recall of Coumadin for injection after particulate matter was found in unreleased samples. 

USPSTF: No screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis

For patients without a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack or other neurological symptoms, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. This decision was published online July 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Improving habits has a positive impact on heart health

Continuing to encourage patients to follow healthy habits is a must. Habits acquired in the early 20s demonstrably affect signs for coronary atherosclerosis in the decades that follow, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Circulation. Loss of those habits had a marked effect as well.

AHA awards $15M to 4 centers targeting heart disease, stroke

Four universities are taking aim at heart disease and stroke with the launch of Strategically Focused Prevention Research Network Centers.

Variable post-CABG infection rates may hinge on hospital, surgeon-level factors

Hospital-acquired infection rates after CABG differed by 18.2 percent in an analysis of 33 hospitals in Michigan that was published online July 1 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Patient mix did not explain the variation.

Diet dynamics: More olive oil, less risk of AF

Chefs will be happy to note: A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil reduced inflammation markers and risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) in a cohort followed by the PREDIMED Trial. 

Integration deal weds Michigan Heart, IHA

The physician group IHA and Michigan Heart planned to be fully integrated by June 29, the two groups announced. The integration will expand IHA to 335 physicians at 54 practices across southeastern Michigan.

3+ hour TV watching may increase cardiac mortality risk

Young adults who watched three or more hours of television a day increased their risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer twofold, according to a study published online June 25 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

FDA clears olmesartan after safety review

The FDA supported the use of the blood pressure medication olmesartan in patients with diabetes after determining that its benefits outweigh potential risks.

Recipe for heart health? Canola oil reduces risk in diabetics

Can canola oil help diabetics lower their risks for cardiovascular disease? A research team from the University of Toronto believes it can. 

Thorough market assessment quickly pays off for physician network

Today’s healthcare system is fragmented and full of misaligned incentives, but it can be transformed with discipline, patience and adherence to evidence-based medicine, said Chris Lloyd, CEO of the Memorial Hermann Physician Network in Houston. “You have to go slow to go fast,” he advised.

CXO: Making patient experience a C-suite priority

Healthcare is undergoing a transformation, and so is the C-suite in hospital systems. The emerging role of chief experience officer (CXO) provides strategic guidance to hospitals as they try to engage patients and their families in the care process.

Worthy—and succinct—advice

Here are some words of wisdom from the MedAxiom Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium in Beaver Creek, Colo. These snippets occurred June 18, the first day of the three-day event.

With $1B and a top rating, service line still strives for better

Even the best can do better. Michael Mack, MD, medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, shared strategies used by his cardiovascular service line that helped place them among top performers as well as the challenges they still face.

So you want a successful service line? Follow these 12 steps

Twelve features define a successful service line, Suzette Jaskie, president and CEO of MedAxiom Consulting, said June 18 at the MedAxiom Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium in Beaver Creek, Colo. “I will tell you up front that no one place is doing all of them.”

Leading treatment centers and patient group form alliance to improve AFib care

Five heart treatment centers in four states, along with an atrial fibrillation (AFib) patient advocacy group have formed a national alliance to improve arrhythmia treatment by sharing information on best practices, creating better care standards and gathering outcome information.