Patient acuity levels rising
US hospitals and health systems are increasingly faced with the challenge of managing their costs while improving their standards of care amid rising occurrences of chronic disease and an aging population. Over recent years the Institute has seen the level of acuity rising, with 40-50% of its patients admitted now coming through the emergency department1.
“The extent of disease is much worse now in the patients that we see here at the Institute than it was a decade ago. Some of that’s related to the cost of healthcare in their own environment. Some of that’s related to the aging population that we know exists,” says Barry T. Katzen, M.D. founder and Chief Medical Executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. “Some of that exists because of lack of access to health care, and I think some patients are waiting until their disease has really progressed more strongly.”
Between 2000 and 2030 the number of Americans with chronic diseases is projected to increase by 46 million people, or 37 percent2. And while more cases of patients with co-morbidities add additional pressure on the system3, ultimately the goal of healthcare providers remains the same.
We’re challenged to deliver the highest-quality, most technologically-advanced care at increasingly greater cost pressure.”
Barry T. Katzen M.D.
Founder and Chief Medical Executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute
Collaborating to improve treatment
When the Institute opened in 1987, it was founded on several important pillars: A commitment to less invasive therapy; a strategic focus around multidisciplinary team care; and fostering an environment of transparency.
The philosophy of transparency and collaboration at the Institute cuts across all of the work that they do. Following the principle that nothing can be accomplished unless you build a strong, collaborative team requires re-thinking the way clinical specialties work together for the benefit of the patient.
“Quite often patients are not siloed in one specialty—they may have multiple problems that require attention, which means physicians need to work together to determine the best outcome and the best approach for each individual patient,” says Carol Melvin, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute. “We need to work together in a multi-disciplinary environment in order to provide the best care to the patient, working as a whole, rather than as individual specialists.”
Integrated, patient-centric care requires technologies that ease a physician’s working environment by improving their workflows, enabling them to make fast diagnostic decisions based on data and insights, and allowing them to accomplish their treatment and diagnostic tasks seamlessly.
“The ability to get diagnostic information, whether it be from ultrasound, CT or MRI technology is extremely important because we need to use that data in order to determine what kind of treatment plan and what kind of procedure the patient will need to have happen in order to help them improve” says Dr. Katzen.
Improving clinical workflows
In the past, diagnostic information was kept in siloes, as the patient data that clinicians need to perform their job comes from multiple sources—the Cath lab, x-rays or CT scans. So collecting the data points meant going to many different locations or applications to get all of the information in one place to make a decision. It was time consuming and prevented the ability to make fast clinical decisions.
Philips Azurion image guided therapy platform has allowed the Institute to increase the speed of workflows and provided improved clinical decision support. Now providers can see all the data from other sources in one place at one time—right in the procedure room. Interventional radiologists and physicians can easily consult and confidently perform procedures, while optimizing lab performance and providing superior care to their patients.
“To be competitive, we have to understand what is behind what we do,” Dr. Katzen says. ”We can collect data from virtually all aspects of the procedure, potentially reducing time, making the clinical procedure more efficient and allowing physicians to accomplish their task more efficiently.
“I think we’re only beginning to explore how that can help us with workflow and understanding how the various components of the procedure can be changed by studying the data that’s coming out of the equipment,” Dr. Katzen says. “But in addition, the ability to be able to manipulate some of that real-time data, whether it’s intravascular or ultrasound or physiologic data, or the imaging data, is also a great advancement”
In many ways, when the Institute began its operations back in 1987, it had already pitched its vision well into the future.
“It’s not about the present. If you make decisions based only on the present you’ll never be prepared for the future,” Dr. Katzen says.