Talking Personalized Medicine on Capitol Hill

Given the ever-increasing advances in science and research related to genetics and genomics, it’s not surprising that discussions about personalized (or precision) medicine among care providers, industry, regulators, patient advocacy groups and Congress are heating up. Continue reading

Are You a Future Leader of the ACC?

John F. Kennedy once said that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” As a member of the ACC’s Board of Trustees, and President of this great organization, I could not agree more. We learn from our fellow leaders. We learn from our 47,000 members around the globe. We learn from our rapidly changing health care environment. We are better leaders because we continue to learn, and we are better health care practitioners for that very same reason. Continue reading

Changing Culture to Change Care

This post was authored by Eric Stecker, MD, MPH, FACC, member of the Surviving MI Steering Committee and director of Inpatient Cardiology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU); Saurabh Gupta, MD, FACC, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at OHSU; and Judi Workman, RN, MS, director of Cardiac Services at OHSU.

Do you leave meetings with your organization’s leadership feeling a push to drive forward the safety, quality, effectiveness and efficiency of patient care? Are you proud of the medical practice of your colleagues and know that they put patient interests first and costs are addressed responsibly? Is everyone you work with dedicated and empowered to identify areas of underperformance and engage effective systems for process improvement? Unless the answer to all of these questions is a definitive “yes,” you have not yet undertaken what might be the most important project of your professional career. Continue reading

Perspectives on Hypertension

This post was authored by Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, president of the ACC, and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of Science, Education and Quality of the ACC.

A State-of-the-Art paper published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) provides three perspectives on the recommendations for treatment of hypertension published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) late last year by panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee. The recommendations garnered much attention in the lay press and physician community for several major changes from the previous guideline (JNC 7). In particular, the recommendations raised the systolic blood pressure threshold for treatment of hypertensive persons aged 60 years or older to 150 mm Hg. A target of 140/90 was maintained for other age groups and for patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Continue reading

Continued Efforts Towards a 25 by 25 NCD Goal

Over the last few months, the ACC has participated in United Nations’ (UN) hearings on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The first hearing – which John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC attended – addressed a ’Zero Draft’ Outcomes Document that the World Health Organization (WHO) released.  The report provided a benchmark of the progress to date since the UN Summit on NCDs in 2011. It noted that the progress of reaching a 25 percent global reduction of premature deaths from NCDs by the year 2025 (25 by 25), “has been insufficient and highly uneven, [and] continued efforts are essential for achieving a world free of the avoidable burden of NCDs.” Continue reading

Update on MOC: Recalibrating the Process

This post was authored by Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, president of the ACC, and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of Science, Education and Quality of the ACC.

The ACC has continued to engage the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in advocating for modifications to the revised requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MOC).  Since our last ACC member communication, ABIM President Richard Baron, MD, has shared with the ACC and other professional societies the following preliminary process changes adopted by the ABIM Board during their June retreat: Continue reading

Sudden Death in Athletes: A Wake-Up Call to Follow Pre-Participation Screening Guidelines

This post was authored by Michelle A. Grenier, MD, FACC, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section Leadership Council.

There is little that sparks more controversy amongst physicians caring for young athletes than the pre-participating screening physical. There are factions amongst some of the most intelligent, well-read, elite practitioners. On one end of the spectrum, there is the belief: “What use is the screening physical if the end result is the final common pathway (unstable ventricular arrhythmia)?” On the other end, there is the belief that “All young athletes, regardless of sport and level of participation require history, physical, EKG and echo… and if necessary, MRI and stress!” In reality, the majority fall somewhere in between, and vacillate somewhat in real-world practice. Continue reading

The Need to Improve Evidence-Base Use of Prasugrel

This post was authored by Ravi S. Hira, MD, and members of the PINNACLE Registry Research and Publications Subcommittee: Paul S. Chan, MD, MSc and Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC.

Approved for use in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention in July 2009, prasugrel is a relatively new antiplatelet agent that was shown to decrease cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke when compared to clopidogrel in the TRITON-TIMI 38 trial. Despite the proven efficacy, prasugrel has been associated with increased major bleeding in patients with prior stroke or transient ischemic attack, and therefore is contraindicated in these patients. It is also not recommended in patients 75 years of age or older without a history of diabetes or prior MI. Continue reading

Cholesterol Guideline Updates: New Tables and Figures

By Michael Mansour, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Board of Governors

Last November, the ACC and the American Heart Association (AHA), in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and other specialty societies, released four prevention guidelines that focused on obesity, the assessment of cardiovascular risk, lifestyle modifications to reduce cardiovascular risk and management of elevated blood cholesterol and body weight in adults. Continue reading

Using PINNACLE to Demonstrate Excellence

This post was authored by Barbara Watkins, administrator at the Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona.

Barbara Watkins, administrator at the Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona, used the PINNACLE Registry to demonstrate her practice is striving toward excellence.

Barbara Watkins, administrator at the Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona, used the PINNACLE Registry to demonstrate her practice is striving toward excellence.

In April, the Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona (HVCA) received the “2014 Gold ArizonaQuality Improvement Recognition Award.” Health Services Advisory Group, Inc., the Medicare Quality Improvement organization of Arizona presented this award to HVCA for making strides in improving patient care by applying best practices and reporting on process and outcomes measures using health information technology (IT).  Continue reading