Feature | February 10, 2014

Interventional Cardiologist Redefines Value for Everyday Medical Practice

February 10, 2014 — Achieving real quality improvement and reducing costs means re-evaluating what constitutes value, according to a new paper e-published in the journal Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions (CCI). A new formula to define value, as presented in the paper, equates “real value” with appropriateness together with clinically defined outcomes and patient-expected outcomes relative to costs.
“Physicians are ready for new tools and strategies to improve patient care, and interventional cardiologists’ long-standing commitment to innovation and quality improvement have enabled us to propose a solution and kick-start its adoption,” said Peter L. Duffy, M.D., MMM, FSCAI, medical director of the cardiovascular service line at the Reid Heart Center/FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Pinehurst, N.C., and the paper’s author.
The Real Value Equation captures the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) six dimensions of quality: care that is safe, effective, efficient, timely, patient-centered and equitable. It emphasizes how its application will help physicians provide better care by allowing them to customize care for individual patient’s needs while adhering to best practices, guidelines and appropriate use criteria (AUC). The lens through which interventional cardiologists can view decisions is based on the following four parameters:
  • The extent to which the benefit of the procedure outweighs the risk
  • The expected effect on the patient’s quality of life
  • How much the procedure reduces long- and short-term risk of complications
  • Whether the procedure will extend the patient’s life expectancy with the level of quality of life they expect
The author said focusing on AUC alone will not result in better population-based outcomes and will not address long-standing concerns regarding patient-centered care and spiraling healthcare costs, however. He called for interventional cardiologists to integrate appropriateness with clinical outcomes, patient expectations and resource utilization into clinical practice. 
“With heart disease care accounting for more than 40 percent of every healthcare dollar spent in the United States, interventional cardiologists are at the forefront of the conversation about how to change health care,” Duffy said. “We have the ability to make changes in our practice that will lead the way to meaningful change in this new phase of healthcare reform. As the Real Value equation takes hold, the possibilities to apply it beyond cardiology to every field will only become clearer, which is truly exciting.”
The paper is titled “Real Value: A Strategy for Interventional Cardiologists to Lead Healthcare Reform.” 
For more information: www.SCAI.org

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