SCAI: Quality improvement track mirrors reform goals

This year, the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) will introduce a quality improvement track to its scientific sessions to position interventionalists as leaders in healthcare reform.  

“In interventional cardiology, the landscape is changing,” said Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, program co-chair and section head of vascular medicine and intervention at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Improvements in technologies and techniques have contributed to better outcomes, for instance, while healthcare reform is transforming the delivery of healthcare.

“There are exciting advances that have made it to the clinical arena,” he said, citing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and transradial access for PCI as examples. “Layered on top of that is the concept of appropriateness of care at every level.”

Interventional cardiology, which Rosenfield sees as having played a leadership role by emphasizing appropriateness of care and building registries, is also at the vanguard in efforts to improve quality and provide patient-centered care, he said. The quality improvement track reflects that commitment.

“We want to keep our periscope up and lead the charge to improve care and deliver the highest quality,” he explained. Some sessions will underscore the importance of accountability, including talks on peer review, measurements, appropriate use and public reporting. Others will address quality and safety, payment reform, ethics and even the use of social media—all subjects Rosenfield describes as relevant and timely.

“In the accountable care era, what you do when and in which patients becomes keenly focused because there are limited resources in the system. We must be responsible citizens in how we apply those,” he said.

Rosenfield added that innovations such as TAVR, which will be covered in the structural track, and the radial approach, which is addressed in symposia in the coronary track, also have contributed to improved care. The peripheral intervention track will provide updates on new techniques such as renal denervation and the congenital heart symposium will address the risk and benefits of new procedures, among other topics.

SCAI 2013 will be held May 8-11 in Orlando, Fla. The scientific sessions will include late-breaking clinical trials, case studies, keynote addresses and lectures, interactive workshops, poster presentations and other educational presentations.