Feature | October 08, 2014

SCAI Expands AUC Calculator App to Support Clinical Decision Making

Aids decisions for diagnostic catheterization and imaging for heart failure

October 8, 2014 — New updates to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) appropriate use criteria (AUC) calculator tool will help healthcare providers in making treatment decisions for patients who are candidates for diagnostic catheterization or imaging for heart failure. The updated tool, available online or through an iOS and Android app, is now available for download.

Since the original AUC calculator app debuted in 2012, thousands of invasive/interventional cardiologists and other healthcare providers have downloaded the tool to help them assess the appropriateness of heart revascularization procedures. Today’s reboot expands the app’s clinical decision making options.

“SCAI’s electronic applications are a key part of our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of care provided in cardiac catheterization laboratories throughout the world,” said SCAI 2014-15 President Charles Chambers, M.D., FSCAI. “With these new functions, we are providing the latest and most accurate information to assist physicians in decision making that will improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.”

SCAI provides all of its electronic applications as Web-based and mobile documentation tools that enable users to review the latest AUC with iOS and Android phones, tablets and laptops. Once members of the cath lab team input facts about a patient’s case, the app will indicate where a “typical” case with those same characteristics would fall on a spectrum of “appropriate,” “uncertain” or “inappropriate” for diagnostic catheterization or for revascularization, as defined by the latest recommendations published by leading cardiovascular societies, including:

  • The 2012 ACCF/SCAI/AATS/AHA/ASE/ASNC/HFSA/HRS/SCCM/SCMR/STS Appropriate Use Criteria for Diagnostic Catheterization;
  • The 2013 ACCF/ACR/ASE/ASNC/SCCT/SCMR Appropriate Utilization of Cardiovascular Imaging in Heart Failure; and
  • The 2012 Focused Update of the ACCF/SCAI/AATS/AHA/ASNC/HFSA/SCCT Appropriate Use Criteria for Coronary Revascularization.


Physicians can then use the information generated by the app to recommend treatments or procedures. The AUC app also allows providers to copy and paste patient clinical scenario and AUC results from the app into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).

“SCAI’s apps don’t replace clinical judgment, but rather they provide case-specific information that informs clinical decision making,” said Kalon Ho, M.D., FSCAI, director for quality assurance in the cardiovascular division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, vice-chair of SCAI’s Quality Improvement Committee and the lead developer on SCAI’s AUC calculator tools. “The new additions to the AUC app will help general and interventional cardiologists quickly and easily update their patients’ clinical records and document the steps used to recommend tests and treatments.”

SCAI’s calculator apps are becoming essential tools in a growing number of cath labs, as evidenced by two studies presented at the SCAI 2014 scientific sessions in May. In the cardiac cath labs at both Baptist Health Lexington in Lexington, Ky., and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, interventional cardiologists now routinely use SCAI’s AUC calculator before they proceed with angioplasty procedures. Data about each patient’s case are keyed into the calculator, which generates immediate guidance on the “appropriateness” of cases similar to the one under consideration as well as documentation that can be printed with the touch of a button.

Independent analyses conducted at both of these cath labs found that using SCAI’s coronary revascularization calculator improved the team’s AUC scores. Over a two-year period, Baptist Health more than doubled the number of cases deemed appropriate. “Supporting our members’ quality improvement efforts has always been an important priority for SCAI,” said Chambers. “Innovative tools like the AUC calculator mean quality information is just a click away and can be accessed quickly to make the best treatment decisions.”

SCAI’s library of electronic applications is part of the SCAI-Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT), which was developed with founding support from Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company, and with support from AstraZeneca.

For more information: www.scai.org

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