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Why has the uptake of adjunctive diagnostic procedures like FFR, IVUS and OCT been slow? On the other hand, is there really a need for interventionalists to move beyond angiographic guidance?

Did the patent foramen ovale (PFO) cause the patient’s stroke? This, experts say, is the key question when deciding whether to recommend PFO closure. Heart–brain teams can help with the answer.   

As Medicare undergoes big changes, internally generated scorecards are becoming essential tools for physicians and practices to monitor performance and track progress toward goals.  

Sometimes the question you’re asked, or the one you heard, isn’t the one to answer—and other lessons learned in the data chasm.

Working and speaking together, through professional associations, makes the voices of cardiovascular experts more likely to be heard.

Cardiac imaging plays an important role in the cardiac care continuum, and choosing the right test can mean all the difference in quality care for both women and men.  

With a few practical steps, cardiology practices can meet the palliative care needs of heart failure patients.

Physicians in fields like cardiology have traditionally looked to clinical practice guidelines to help articulate the best evidence-based care for patients. The rapidly growing movement to value-based care is prompting clinicians—including echocardiographers—to carefully weigh a more focused and integrative approach to delivering consistent, quality medicine: care pathways.

The vision was clear. The experienced heart and vascular team at the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago needed a cardiovascular information system (CVIS) to stretch across its seven hospitals and 100 ambulatory care centers, physician offices and clinics. Like an architect constructing a solid foundation, they brought in a unified IT infrastructure to support enterprise-wide image reading, viewing, smart structured reporting and drive better quality, outcomes and efficiency. For this leading-edge health network, syngo Dynamics (Siemens) emerged as the enterprise-wide solution of choice for exchanging key patient images and data with the EMR, enabling near-instant, secure, HIPAA-enabled access to clinicians onsite and remote and ensuring interoperability across the enterprise.

A plan for increasing use of cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab, or CR) was a few months short of launch when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tapped the brakes.  

The need for permanent pacemakers in patients with severe aortic stenosis who undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) remains a complication, even as TAVR expands into lower-risk groups. That may prove to be a limitation, especially with younger patients who may have decades of life ahead of them.

Among sweeping changes underway in U.S. healthcare is a brighter spotlight on patients' transitions from hospital to home. What can be done to reduce readmissions during these vulnerable periods and possibly save billions of dollars in the process? Increasingly, an answer lies with mobile integrated teams of providers, often led by paramedics, who take healthcare right into patients' homes.

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