Facing the future: 4 key takeaways from the 2020 Cardiovascular Leadership Survey

A new survey from Cardiovascular Business examines the attitudes and priorities of leaders in cardiology and other specialties, shining light on how patient care may evolve in the years ahead.

The 2020 Cardiovascular Leadership Survey, sponsored by Philips, received responses from more than 350 executives, physicians and healthcare administrators from the United States and Canada. Respondents work in cardiology (51%), radiology (11%) and a wide variety of medical specialties.

These are 4 key takeaways from the survey:

1. Single-vendor CVIS solutions are gaining momentum:

Cardiovascular image and information management systems (CVIS) helps health systems get the most out of their cardiology data, sharing it across imaging and diagnostic devices in an instant whenever necessary. To simplify the IT side for everyone involved, more and more providers are starting to push for the implementation of a single-vendor CVIS strategy. One in four respondents indicated they are pursuing such a strategy, and another 22% said they are considering moving in that direction in the near future. At academic medical centers, a whopping 42% of respondents are moving to a single-vendor CVIS strategy.

“Health systems can’t afford to have a lot of IT systems that don’t talk to one another,” according to the report. “Many organizations struggle to support the ongoing interfacing and testing to keep integration functioning. They also want a more holistic view of the patient.”

2. A lack of funding is limiting progress in IT departments:

Some organizations are still not considering a single-solution CVIS strategy—and the primary reason is a lack of financial resources. Other reasons such a strategy may not be a priority include a lack of resources on the IT side and an inadequate strategy on the organizational level.

3. Siloed data is causing problems:

While 44% of respondents said their health systems are unable to access “images, measurements and calculations” from the CVIS using their electronic medical record (EMR), another 32% said they encounter challenges when trying to access patient data within the CVIS.

“Healthcare leaders are counting on data and innovation to solve problems like physician and staff shortages,” according to the report. “But as we know, the cardiovascular service line struggles to manage many IT systems and myriad databases and sources. Cardiologists in particular need discrete data to manage complex disease.”

4. Burnout is still a very real issue

The 2020 Cardiovascular Leadership Survey found that physician and clinician burnout ranks among the top five challenges facing today’s healthcare leaders.  

“Across medical specialties, half of physicians experience symptoms of burnout,” according to the report. “Statistics are not as common among clinicians but the battle is the same. The consequences are painful for caregivers and to patients too, bringing harm and leading to excessive cost and burden to the healthcare ecosystem.”

What improvements are leaders working to make that could combat burnout? Is it enough to truly make an impact or just too little too late? It’s something every specialty—not just cardiology, not just radiology—is going to have take seriously in the days (and years) ahead.

For more insight and data, view the full 2020 Cardiovascular Leadership Survey here.