Featured Story | May 2018

Photo courtesy of Matt Miller and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Physicians and patients have long awaited the next step beyond catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia (VT). Could noninvasive stereotactic body radiation be that
breakthrough?
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With 45 percent of today’s cardiologists older than 56 and a quarter of nurses who are planning to retire aiming to do so within the year, experts predict a workforce shortage will hit when the baby boomers are increasingly in need of care.
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The entry of new players and dozens of potentially disruptive mergers and acquisitions are pushing healthcare in nontraditional directions, yielding opportunities for cardiologists to help shape the transformation.
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When the prices of two generic medications skyrocketed, health systems worked to rein in costs while ensuring patients continued to receive high-quality care.
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Sometimes the planets align. This time, it’s to the advantage of patients at risk of in-hospital cardiac arrest. While a study recently confirmed cardiac arrest survival rates fall significantly on nights and weekends, another study shows that a wearable defibrillator can help patients 24/7.
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The size of cardiovascular studies is one factor forcing health systems and practices to consider the cloud for storage.
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With more communication training, cardiologists and their teams could improve their patients’ outcomes and quality of life while possibly reducing readmissions and physician burnout.
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In the world of value-based care and pay for performance, proper coding and documentation can raise the bottom line and ensure clinicians get credit for their work.
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Quality reporting has changed the stakes in all aspects of healthcare. We’ve come to rely on metrics to guide decision-making across the clinical and business enterprises because the data never lie. Or do they?
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Themed publications aren’t my thing. Maybe it’s an attention span problem or that my brain is brimming with questions I want to explore and stories I think we should write. Whatever the reason, I’m never the one suggesting a series of articles looking at a topic from several angles.
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Accelerating the integration of digital healthcare tools in a responsible, clinically meaningful way is the primary focus of the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) innovation agenda, according to John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, who spoke at the 2018 Cardiovascular Summit in February.

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