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May 22, 2014
ASNC SmartBrief Special Report
News for nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals
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ASNC SmartBrief Special Report:
Connecting with patients
As payment models evolve, patients act more like consumers and people take more responsibility for their health, it has become more important than ever to connect with and build care around the patient. This special report explores topics related to patient-centered care in cardiology, including personalized approaches to medicine and patient education challenges that are unique to the practice of nuclear cardiology. Be sure to weigh in via the poll below with your own experience, and check out our follow-up report on June 12.
Patient-Centered Diagnosis and Treatment 
  • Cardiologists debate safety of statin recommendations for women
    Heart health  
    Broad new guidelines might double the number of Americans prescribed statins each year, but the drugs' effects on women have not been well studied, and for some, the medicine might cause more harm than good, some cardiologists say. "If you're going to tell a healthy person to take a medicine every day for the rest of their life, you should have really good data that it's going to make them better off," said cardiologist Dr. Rita Redberg, the editor of JAMA Internal Medicine. Others, including Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, say taking statins on a prophylactic basis makes sense. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Well blog (5/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Lower-dose MPI slow to catch on
    At Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, clinicians take a patient-centered approach to stress testing. Those whose images are expected to be normal start with stress-first imaging. If results are abnormal or questionable, the patient will go on to be tested with a rest-stress protocol. Stress-first or stress-only myocardial perfusion imaging in cases of possible or known coronary artery disease is a way of reducing patient radiation exposure, but the approach has yet to see widespread use. The protocol might help practices meet ASNC radiation dose goals. (4/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Astellas is proud to support the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.
Engaging Patients 
  • How do patients want to learn about imaging results?
    Patients want a surprising level of detail from imaging exams, according to research presented at an American Roentgen Ray Society meeting. Survey data indicate 44% of patients want the same level of detail referring physicians receive if results are normal, and 78% said they wanted that level of information for abnormal findings. Patients generally want results from their referring doctor, but researchers said more than half of respondents were open to some type of direct interaction with radiology specialists. "Perhaps radiologists can capitalize on patient demand for supplemental follow-up," said researcher Dr. Mark Mangano. (free registration) (5/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bedside ultrasound: A new way of engaging patients
    Internist Dr. Janice Boughton writes that her pocket ultrasound has increased her accuracy and efficiency while also enhancing communication with patients. Boughton notes that pocket ultrasound is expensive and requires user expertise that takes time to accumulate, but she says the tool has enhanced her interactions with patients, whom she tells, "It is incredibly cool. We are looking at the inside of your body together and learning things. It's unusual now, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be too long before it's part of what most of us do." (5/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
The Radiation Conversation 
  • A clear-headed approach to radiation safety
    Radiation safety is a potent topic of conversation in the media and an important aspect of practice management and regulatory compliance, writes Neil Singh of Ascendian Healthcare Consulting, but the abundance of information does not make radiation programs any easier to design and implement. "With numerous opinions and interpretations on radiation safety trends, best practices, regulation updates, and studies, [health care] providers and the general public are experiencing difficulties filtering the true message in radiation safety away from industry noise," Singh writes. In this article, he discusses standards and solutions. (free registration) (4/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The problem with radiation quality metrics
    Many imaging practices work with large populations of patients who are unlikely to benefit from efforts to cut radiation dose, according to a report in the American Journal of Roentgenology. "Tailoring dose-reduction efforts to preferentially affect younger healthier patients, thus allowing elderly patients or patients with low life expectancy the benefits in image quality that may be afforded by higher radiation doses, may compromise an institution's performance metrics, even though their efforts may be appropriately patient centered," the study's authors wrote. "Our findings emphasize the need to consider more granular patient-centered benchmarks." (5/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Clinical Perspectives 
  • Which is your preferred approach for educating patients about nuclear cardiology procedures?
Written materials
Verbal explanation
Online resources

  • Do you feel like patients retain the necessary information from your efforts to prepare them for procedures?
Most of the time
Not usually
I have no way of knowing

  • Do you proactively broach the topic of radiation in imaging with patients?
Somewhat frequently
Somewhat rarely

  • How often do patients ask about radiation risks?
Somewhat frequently
Somewhat rarely

Spotlight on ASNC 

Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual ASNC endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of ASNC.
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