The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Cardiologists Using New Device During Surgery

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At Sutherland Cardiology Clinic, three cardiologists have employed a new method and device into their heart surgeries. Keith Anderson, James Litzow, Claro Diaz have successfully planted an FDA approved heart failure monitoring device into a patient. The patient’s name is William Brown who is a two year cardiac risk patient. The device is known as the CardioMEMS HF System. The successful procedure took place at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, located in Germantown, Tennessee.

The CardioMEMS HF System has been tested and proven to to reduce hospital admission when used by physicians to manage heart failure drastically. The device was developed by St. Jude Medical, which is a Minnesota-based device manufacturer.

tyde-pavlinik-cardiology-device-1Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention peg 5.1 million Americans as heart-risk individuals will heart failure. They also report 670,000 new cases of heart failure each year. These people are frequently hospitalized and have a lower quality of life and high probability of early death.

The CardioMEMS HF System is designed to last the patient’s whole life and does not require batteries for power. The device has a wireless sensor that sends pressure readings to an external system. The reading that are submitted to the other device allow alert physicians and detect any other symptoms and keep a close eye on the patient’s health. These readings allow the doctors to adjust their plans accordingly to best help the patient.

Keith Anderson was quoted in saying “We constantly are searching for new technology that can help heart failure patients live long, fulfilling lives. “CardioMEMS helps improve the outcome for heart failure patients and gives us the opportunity to closely monitor them using a physician-lead team based approach. If an issue arises, we can intervene quickly.”

Thank you for reading!

-Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Re-Vamping Kottayam Cardiology Department

tyde-pavlinik-kottayam-cardiologyKottayam Medical College in Kottayam is getting some much needed help from the government of Kerala. The Department of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery will be transformed soon enough with new technology and equipment. There will soon be the Regional Cardiology Center in the model of the Ahmedabad centre.

The Secretary of the Health Department is responsible for conducting the feasibility study. T.K. Jayakumar and Dr. V.L. Jayaprakash are two other officers appointed to the project to move it along.

The new Department of Cardiology will get it’s autonomy if and only if it is made into the Regional Cardiology Centre. The central government will also be helping with funding for the project to provide better facilities and technology for healthcare use. Another major positive with the new project is the ability of the Medical College being able to offer more post-graduate course related to cardiology and cardiac surgery. Which will be extremely useful in the region.

Currently the Kottayam Medical College Hospital is responsible for most of the cardiac surgeries, angiograms, and angioplasties conducted in the government sector in the state. The hospital has also been given approval to conduct heart transplants.

Currently the hospital/medical college relies on a 10-year-old cath lab for angiogram and angioplasty procedures. Many patients rely on the Medical College for its health practices and are generally from Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Alappuzha, Kollam, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts.

The Department of Cardiology at the Medical College has two distinct wings. The Medical College has asked for the creation of the posts of a professor, an associate professor and two assistant professors. The government has yet to decide on the request. The Department of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery spans 65,000 square feet of space in three floors. The space can accommodate about 200 patients at a given time. There are a total of 40 beds in the intensive care unit and 25 beds in the postoperative intensive care unit.

Thanks for reading!

-Tyde Pavlinik

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Philips Cardiology Solution

tyde-pavlinik-IntelliSpace-CardiovascularPhilips recently launched a new revolutionary application for cardiovascular medical professionals. The web-enabled image and information management system is known as IntelliSpace Cardiovascular. The application is a single and fully integrated workspace that provides a thorough and full view of patient’s health on an individual and unique basis. This new tool gives cardiologists an all in one system to help diagnose problems and provide carefully executed solutions for better care.

The new tool provides doctors with a much more streamlined and efficient way of caring for patients while increasing positive outlooks. Doctors in possession of IntelliSpace Cardiovascular can view the patient’s entire history from their diagnosis to therapy and everything in between. No longer will unnecessary tests or reporting be done as all the information is in one centralized location.

IntelliSpace Cardiovascular will be used to help improve the workflow of patients involved in cardiovascular treatments from anywhere. There is another very important technology found within the new application. There is a built in echocardiography reporting feature that gives cardiologists the ability to properly identify and eliminate any problems or inaccuracies within the reports.

There are many built in features that come standard with IntelliSpace Cardiovascular. Some of the features include access to a vast array of data which includes discrete information regarding a patient’s condition. There are also analytics tools used to compile and organize data into manageable and searchable materials. The data will be able to be read by doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and background researchers. This new technological advancement will keep everything buttoned up and allow the professionals more time to care for patients.

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Patients Pressured With Healthcare Costs Rising

tyde-pavlinik-medical-expensesEveryone feels the pressure of today’s healthcare. It can build up on families and patients already admitted to hospitals and its a hard problem to correct. People are fed up with the bills that continue to roll in for one expense after another.

According to a recent survey by EHealth, 6 in 10 Americans claim to be more worried about funding their medical expenses than planning their retirement or covering their children’s education. This is very unfortunate complex subjects like retirement have been widely considered the number one savings expense for adults. On the other hand providing a stimulating and healthy education for one’s children is extremely important and should be one of the first things taken care of financially as a family.

Another major problem with the strain that medical bills is associated with, is the patient’s work status. Quite often and unfortunately enough, people lose their jobs as a result of a major injury or long hospital stay. Without a job many patients lose their health care and are thus forced to pay their medical expenses out of pocket. Pending the injury or illness those bills add up and can put patients under enormous pressures and crushing debt.

As the rising healthcare costs continue to grow year after year, expenses that individuals and families had set aside for other purposes, decreases at an alarming rate. There has been a large effort to slow down the trend but little has been accomplished in terms of helping patients debt.

Paul Ginsburg who is the director of public policy at USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics is quoted in saying “The overall cost to everybody has slowed, but one of the reasons they’ve slowed is that there’s been a shifting of costs to patients.”

There are some tools in the process of testing that will help to relieve financial strain on patients. The healthcare industry is trying to be more open as to what care actually costs down to a smaller level so patients can shop around by price and find the most affordable options. This new method is sure to push doctors to suggest more price-conscious options when it comes to care for patients.

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Nebraska Medicine Heals Hearts

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Nebraska Medicine’s New Program

A recent program at Nebraska Medicine is making amazing strides by helping to heal damaged hearts and keeping patients alive even in the darkest hours. The hospital helped a patient recently go from complete heart failure to making a full recovery.

So what is Nebraska Medicine’s trick? The hospital is using a technology called ECMO. The machine is set for patients that are on the brink of death or may have even died a few times while be cared for and there may be no other options. Patients remain hooked up to the machine for days or even weeks while they make miraculous recoveries stunning doctors and hospital personnel.

Michael Crowe is one such example that had a heart anomaly that would have required a heart transplant. However after being attached to the machine for 17 days, Michael received an ultrasound on the same day he was to receive his new heart and shockingly enough, the beats were normal and his heart was healing. Michael’s success is helping other patients with similar conditions and are in need of desperate help.

Patients from all over and even out of the state are starting to flock to the hospital and meet with the experience professionals and Michael to learn more about the miraculous procedure that saved Michael from and almost certain death.

Nebraska medicine has also made the information that the ECMO technology to initiate and transfer patients is available at Bryan Memorial in Lincoln, Nebraska as well as Good Samaritan in Kearney, also in Nebraska.

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Russia’s Cromos Launches New Cardiology Site

tyde-pavlinik-russia-cardiologyLocated in Moscow, Russia, Cromos Pharma has just recently launched a new project called Cardiorus. Cardiorus is a cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery site research organization or better known as “SRO.” The SRO will be based at the Bakoulev Center of Cardiovascular Surgery in Moscow.

Russia is not exactly known for their expertise in health care or medicine but the CRO will will not only provide administrative services, but also logistical & project management support, but also quality assurance and training in addition to oversight services for Cardiorus.

Cromos CEO Dr. Vlad Bogin was quoted in saying “Unlike in the US, site research organization are a rarity in Russia and in the post-soviet countries. For instance, we recently opened the first dermatology SRO in Russia late last year.”

Bogin believes that there could be more of a trend on the horizon for other organizations to establish their own SROs. This example is expected to be the start of a rise in russian SROs. Bogin also believes that more medical institutions in Russia will get involved in clinical trials to bring in additional income. They will also do this to increase the standard of care for patients and enhance their medical reputations on a global scale.

The rise in SROs will most likely call for partnerships and working together between multiple organizations depending on the size of each project and the organizing company. The positives are definitely clear to see as Cardiorus has yielded an internal audit system, the creation and implementation of a set of standard operating procedures, as well as the ability to regularly and appropriately train the center’s support staff.

Russia will most likely stand as an example to other countries looking to do that same and improve their overall care and administrative procedures. More and more trails will allow for more concrete procedures and the process will thus become more streamlined.

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HIT Does Not Guarantee Better Care According to Study

tyde-pavlinik-hit-medicalA new study suggests that Health Information Technology (HIT) does not guarantee better care than the standard way that patients are used to. Even though 70% of doctors use EHRs, about 50% of those doctors do not regularly receive the right data to coordinate a patient’s care appropriately.

The study also uncovered that even with a higher percentage of physicians and doctors using HIT receiving pertinent information for patient’s care than doctors who did not, over 33% did not routinely get the patient information at all.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality surveyed 4,500 office-based physicians and found that only about 33% used an EHR system and also shared patient health information using electronic methods. 39% of the physicians had an EHR system but did not share their patient data electronically. About 25% did neither. This study of a large sample draws a lot of attention to the challenges of using HIT when coordinating healthcare and options between providers

The information that is to be transferred among physicians remained by fax or other non-electronic means even when it was routinely received. This proved to be the case for about 75% of doctors receiving information from other practices. As a side note, about half of that 75% was for receiving hospital discharge information. Obviously this information is very important.

Even though the coordination between healthcare providers and physicians alike needs work and the quality of technology needs improvement  the concept is still good. The proper use HIT might help to make pertinent information more readily accessible and easy to understand for doctors and practices.

According to Chun-Ju Hsiao, lead researcher, “being able to exchange data electronically does not automatically associate with better care coordination if the information needed is not exchanged between providers.” Issues of cost and the interoperability of HIT systems have hindered the use of EHRs to share patient information.

3-D Printing & Medicine

tyde-pavlinik-3d-printingIt is no doubt that 3-D printing is revolutionizing the world we live in today but it is specifically improving healthcare in many ways. Whether it is printing a new ear for a child born with a deformity or making an entire leg for a wounded veteran, 3-D printing is bridging the gap of what we believed was possible to what we can accomplish in healthcare.

For those not familiar with 3-D printing and how it operates let me tell you. 3-D printing involves printing in layers and thus making a three dimensional and operational piece of useful technology. There are different classes for 3-D printing ranging from ones you can purchase for at home use to large printers used for corporations. The possibilities are endless with a 3-D printer and professionals and new users alike are pushing the limits of what can be produced everyday

For a little while now 3-D printing has been only thought of working on the exterior of the human body but it is slowly working its way to being incorporated into under the skin procedures. Whether its custom knee caps or a new rip that will replace a broken one, 3-D printing can help just about anyone. There have been unsuccessful organ printings as well. These printed organs such as hearts and kidneys eliminates the waiting period of being on a donor list. This process can save thousands and or even millions of lives. With the elimination of a donor list people will receive custom and perfect organs or other necessary items to improve their health.

The next step is to make real living organs and not just place holders that can mimic the function of an organ comprised of tissue, fat, blood, etc. The medical industry is making huge leaps forward and there are certainly big things on the horizon where everyone will have the chance to get the medical care they need no matter how large it might be. The is much hope to be had.

The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Interventional Cardiology Recognized by CMS

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Medicare has officially recognized Interventional cardiologists. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions believes the decision will open up reimbursement opportunities and improve quality metric comparisons.

The designation entails a one-time request to the local Medicare provider. In this request the designation asks to be changed from general cardiology to the new C3 category. The whole process is quite straightforward and should only take about 15 minutes, according to SCAI.

One of the quickest acting changes this new change will bring will be that interventional cardiologists won’t have consultation claims denied for referrals from general cardiologists within the same physician group.

Peter L. Duffy, MD, MMM, and SCAI secretary has come out and said “Our electrophysiology colleagues are already in that situation. We’re doing the work, we’re just not getting paid for it.” Duffy work out of Reid Heart Center in Pinehurst, N.C. Duffy is also quoted in saying “hopefully it will carry through to them as well and they’ll be able to create their own separate designation and recognize the importance of separating us out from general cardiology, electrophysiology — if they have not done that already, from heart failure specialists, and from non-invasive, non-interventional cardiology.”

On the other hand, the organization’s push for this new change was not to get consults covered but instead because comparisons with general cardiology on quality metrics are not properly aligned.

As accountable care organizations evolve, the separate designation will be important as well.

“Right now general cardiology would be considered to be an included physician in an ACO model,” Duffy said. “If you admitted the patient to the hospital that patient would be attached to you. Even if they went to other hospitals and were out of your system, your ACO would still be responsible for any services that they received there. As interventionalists, we’re more designated to be doing specific procedures for patients … As excluded physicians from an ACO model, we would not be the designated primary care provider, which we shouldn’t be under that circumstance.”

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Is Too Much Rest Bad For Concussions?

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A new study has emerged that refutes the common idea that bed rest for concussion victims is recommended. The study tells a different tale that long resting for concussion patients is not recommended and can in fact be harmful to the individual.

Concussion have become more and more frequent in recent years. With high-impact athletics and the physicality that youth players and pros alike concussions are expected and are on the rise. In fact, in the past decade, emergency department visits for sports-related traumatic brain injury have increased by more than 60%. Concussions in general make up a whopping 10%+ of high school sports related injuries.

The widespread acceptance of strict bed rest after concussion has led medical professionals and sports trainers alike to recommend the “treatment.” The purpose of this recommendation is to give the brain a chance to rest from cognitive and physical activity until some of the small symptoms have diminished. A concussion patient does not want to re-injure their brain during the rehab time as it could have long lasting and more substantial effects. This “fact” is however being discredited by countless professionals.

Dr. William P. Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur, of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, MA, explain that the “relative lack of evidence is due, in part, to the difficult nature of quantifying and tracking levels of physical and, particularly, cognitive activity.”

The discrepancies are also tied to the amount of rest recommended by clinicians. Many professionals recommend different times. Given that everyone is different and some concussions are different than others, there needs to be more of a defined time. The consensus takes the side of 24-48 hours of rest while many clinicians preach about a method called “cocoon therapy.” This method is best described as concussion patients resting is a dark room for multiple days.

“We should be cautious when imposing excessive restrictions of activity following concussion and mindful that the discharge instructions we provide patients may influence their perception of illness,” said Dr. Danny G. Thomas.

Dr. William Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur agree that, “a recommendation of reasonable rest for the first few days after a concussion followed by a gradual resumption of cognitive activities seems prudent.”

Medical professionals are beginning to see that concussion patients should rest a reasonable amount and then follow up with a doctor for basic testing and a check up.

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