The Ticker: Quality Pays in Several Ways


 C.P. Kaiser, Editor

Quality initiatives abound in healthcare today. One way to provide consistently better care to patients and to keep a healthy bottom line is through evidence-based medicine.

This issue, we’re taking a look at how two leading cardiac care facilities have streamlined and standardized care and costs by initiating evidence-based protocols.

The medical directors of those facilities emphasize team work when deploying broad quality reforms. It’s a cultural shift that transcends technology and, by its nature, must include everyone.

We’re also exploring how the use of electronic medical records delivers across-the-board benefits to office-based practices. The incremental cost savings, improved quality of patient care, and better quality of life for physicians add up to a successful practice. An EMR, for example, saves money with each patient phone call when staff doesn’t have to hunt for a chart. Patient information doesn’t fall through the cracks when physicians can access their records remotely. And cardiologists in EMR-equipped practices can end the work day sooner (provided they turn off their PDAs!).

As a follow-up to our focus last issue on the economics of cardiac CTA, this month we offer marketing strategies to help you gain market presence in this increasingly competitive slot. These tips are especially important as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services threatens to restrict reimbursement for coronary CTA. There’s no need to be shy about marketing your practice, you’ll learn, especially when many tactics can be developed in-house on a shoestring budget.

In this—our second—issue of Cardiovascular Business, we continue to examine a host of subjects that are important to a successful practice. Be sure to check out our focus on medical displays, which indicates a trend to merge color and grayscale monitors. And we highlight a niche for cardiac PET/CT, which in no way sounds the death knell for SPECT imaging, which we also show will continue to be the functional workhorse it has always been.

So, welcome and enjoy! And please send me your comments.