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Sensing Savvy

Why Your Dialysis Clinic Needs a Vascular Access Coordinator

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Feb 6, 2017 6:30:00 AM

Often referred to as the Achilles heel of hemodialysis, the vascular access is the lifeline of the patient — successful hemodialysis depends on it.

When an access fails, serious complications can occur. The patient is at risk for infection, sepsis — even death. For a dialysis clinic, these patient complications can result in missed appointments, delayed scheduling and surgery cancellations, which can hurt a clinic’s bottom line.

For many clinics, continuity of care is a major concern.

What if one new hire could help ensure continuity of care and address access issues before they occur?

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Denton Cooley

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM

"What he did, more than anyone else, was make heart surgery safe." —O.H. Frazier, M.D. (Denton Cooley protégé)

Denton Cooley, one of the greatest heart surgeons of the 20th century, was a third-generation Houstonian. He was born in 1920 in comfortable economic circumstances. His father was a successful dentist; his maternal grandfather, a physician. As a young scholar and athlete, Cooley showed great promise. As a youth, he was inspired by his parents and a family friend who also was his mother’s obstetrician, Dr. E.W. Bertner, who later founded the Texas Medical Center.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Kidney Care News to Know for January

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Jan 30, 2017 6:30:00 AM

Nephrology Practices & Optimizing Performance

To help nephrologists determine whether compensation is the best it could have been this year, the Renal Physicians Association has published its biennial nephrology business survey results in an interactive tool. The tool “helps practices identify areas of excellence and those that can be improved upon in ways not previously available,” according to Nephrology News & Issues. The survey found many practices have seen an increase in patients and they rely more heavily on advanced practitioners to provide this care.

Source: Nephrology News & Issues

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. John Kirklin

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 25, 2017 7:00:00 AM

When professor Stephen Westaby, a heart surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England, decided to go to the United States to refine his surgical skills, he was advised, “Go to Kirklin. There you will learn discipline.”

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM

In the second half of the 20th century, a group of surgeons advanced the work of early pioneers in cardiothoracic surgery who had first introduced surgical procedures to relieve heart disease. Two of these men were from institutions in America’s heartland: Dr. John Kirklin worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, while at nearby University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei pioneered open heart surgery.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 18, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Perhaps no one person embodies the advancements in the surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the 20th century more than Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey. As a world-renowned scientist, innovator, medical educator, administrator, author, medical statesman and humanitarian, his name has become synonymous with firsts in surgery, biomedical innovations and the establishment of several educational and medical institutions.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

The Magic of the Left Internal Mammary Artery

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 16, 2017 6:30:00 AM

The Left Internal Mammary Artery (LIMA), also known as the Left Internal Thoracic Artery (LITA), has been the gold standard conduit of choice for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for several decades.

More than 30 years ago, Boylan et al published a study in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery in which the long-term results of 200 patients who underwent CABG, 100 of whom received a LIMA — left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) bypass graft and the second 100 who received a saphenous vein (SVG) to LAD bypass graft, were analyzed.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Which Surgical Risk Score is Best?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Doctors from Inova Heart & Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, recently published their findings after comparing the precision of three risk scores used to measure the quality of cardiac surgical care. They compared the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) surgical risk score, primarily used in the United States, with the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE II, EuroSCORE I).
The original EuroSCORE I was developed between 1995 and 1999 from data of 19,000 cardiac surgery patients, most of whom had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. About a third underwent valve surgery. The EuroScore I was updated in 2012 to be more user-friendly and applicable to a greater number of procedures.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Tips Hospital Leaders Can Use to Prepare for Disaster

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 9, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Turn on the TV or open your internet browser and you’ll likely be confronted with a story or two about a local or national disaster. And while your hospital has likely prepared for disaster, it’s difficult to gauge how your staff will respond until it faces an adverse event.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

The State of Doctor-Patient Relationships & How to Improve Them

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Think back to the last time you visited your physician. How much time did you actually spend speaking with your doctor? For a portion of the appointment, your doctor was likely reading through a file or typing information into an EHR. Researchers at the Annals of Internal Medicine wanted to see how physicians were interacting with patients. They found that doctors spent slightly over half the time in the exam room providing direct clinical facetime. The rest of the time was spent updating EHRs or reading files. They also found that during a typical workday, physicians only spent 27 percent of the day face to face with patients. The rest — you guessed it — was spent on administrative tasks.

It’s no wonder then that patients and doctors can feel frustrated by the state of their doctor-patient relationships.

Here are a few things you can do to strengthen your relationships with your patients.

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