Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC 2014-11-18 03:39:40
Adapting to Change in a Quality Way Change has been a constant theme in health care over the last several years. Whether it’s the environment where we practice, how we get reimbursed for services, the technologies used to provide care, or how we interact with patients, change is everywhere. This issue of Cardiology focuses on one major area of change – how evidence-based science is applied at the point of care – and the ways in which the College is developing approaches to help its members meet this challenge head on. “The College is the source of knowledge for various types of providers and a lot of people beyond cardiology,” says Ty Gluckman, MD, FACC. “We have an ability to enlighten a lot of other groups, but we have to make sure we’re offering what they need in a format that is useful.” The College is attempting to do just that, by developing guideline-based tools that leverage new digital technologies while allowing the flexibility to adapt to new technologies on the horizon. To date, the College has created several mobile apps that allow clinicians to educate patients about their specific form of heart disease, estimate the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, connect with other cardiovascular colleagues, or access clinical practice guideline recommendations at the touch of a finger. Even greater things are planned for the future as we work with technology companies, small businesses, industry and other specialty societies on projects that leverage the College’s wealth of clinical registry data, educational prowess, and the 47,000 great minds that span the cardiovascular profession, as well as the globe. Speaking of innovative partnerships, this issue shines a spotlight on efforts by the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, working with its partnering organization Sisters by Heart, to build a quality improvement and learning network focused on improving the survival and quality of life of infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome during the “interstage” period between discharge from Stage 1 Norwood and admission for Stage 2 bidirectional Glenn procedure. This unique network brings together pediatric cardiologists, nurses, cardiac intensivists, congenital heart surgeons, quality improvement experts, and parents of children with congenital heart disease from across the country around the common goal of improving outcomes of care for children with cardiovascular disease. Finally, this issue offers in-depth looks at several amazing ACC members, including Forrest Hood Adams, MD, MACC, ACC’s oldest living past president, who deserve recognition for their contributions to cardiovascular research, as well as service within their communities. Also, don’t miss profiles on Victor Dzau, MD, FACC, the new head of the Institute of Medicine, and Athena Poppas, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Annual Scientific Session. Dr. Poppas and the ACC.15 team have exciting things planned for San Diego, CA, next March that take advantage of changes in technology to provide the best education and science possible. While change brings challenges, it also brings many new opportunities. This issue of Cardiology offers a glimpse at the many ways the College and its members are leveraging these opportunities to make a real difference in cardiovascular research and patient care. Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC, says it best when he notes: “Never underestimate the power of the ACC membership – they can tackle any problem. And never underestimate the power of the ACC staff, they are the most talented and hardworking staff of any professional society in the world.” Sincerely, Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC
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