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The Monthly Pulse – Providers (March 2022)

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The Monthly Pulse
Industry News
AI-based Algorithm Could Predict Outcomes After Cardiac Surgery
The Story
In a recently published Mayo Clinic study, researchers found that using an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm from a single-lead ECG could predict a patient’s survival following cardiac surgery. The algorithm was developed based on historical data from more than 20,000 patients who received coronary artery bypass grafting, valve surgery, or both, from 1993 to 2019.
What You Should Know
Using the algorithm helped researchers uncover a 30% increase in long-term mortality following valve or coronary bypass surgery for patients with an abnormal AI screen. This finding could help clinicians determine risks more precisely when evaluating patients for surgery, and can also support shared decision making. While it’s believed this is the first large-scale application of AI algorithms to predict cardiac surgery outcomes using data from a single ECG, it likely won’t be the last time AI is used to drive informed clinical decisions.
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Type of Sponsorship Associated with Differences Between Trials for Invasive Cardiovascular Treatments
The Story
In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, investigators from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian looked at randomized clinical trials in coronary, vascular, and structural cardiology, as well as vascular and cardiac surgeries. According to their findings, the design and reported results of the study tend to benefit the study’s sponsor. Most studies favor the product instead of looking at clinically important outcomes and patient-relevant data.
What You Should Know
Given the importance of randomized clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine, the discovery that bias favoring commercial sponsors is influencing study outcomes is alarming. Of the few trials performed each year, most are small and sponsored by the industry. These findings illustrate a critical need to design trials with the patient in mind, to promote transparency, and to declare conflicts of interest. Moreover, studies must clearly regulate the design and reporting of studies to promote relevant, quality findings.
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Aortic Tears Are Even More Deadly for Women, Study Finds
The Story
Based on data spanning several decades, researchers have found that women present different symptoms for aortic dissection than men and are more likely to die. Symptoms including low blood pressure, malperfusion, shock, and altered consciousness are all higher in women, and research also suggests that the differences in presenting symptoms may lead women to wait longer to seek care than male patients.
What You Should Know
Since outcomes after aortic dissection are dependent on the timeliness of treatment, it’s critical that patients and clinicians understand the potential differences in presentation of symptoms in women versus men. Coupled with the fact that women may be more likely to lose consciousness, these differences in symptoms could delay the correct diagnosis, leading to worse outcomes. A deeper understanding of gender differences in symptoms could help patients and clinicians work together towards better survival rates for women after an aortic tear.
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Leadership Reflections
As I reflect on the challenges of working in healthcare over the past few years, I recognize the importance of innovation. Here are some of my key takeaways:
  • Reframing problems as opportunities - A team’s entire approach can change when making this shift. Is there a solution to a current “problem” that could actually be our next great innovation?
  • Harnessing the collaborative mindset achieved during the pandemic - How can we capitalize on this new way of thinking and working together to innovate in preparation for our next challenges?
  • Reimagining elective care and reducing the backlog - Some procedures, including cardiac surgery, have been classified as elective care, leading to an ongoing backlog. How could lifesaving procedures like these be reclassified and prioritized?
  • Utilizing data to track progress and drive decision making - The best leaders and teams use data to drive innovation. What data would be most helpful to inform our future decisions, and how can we generate or access it?
I encourage you to combine these takeaways with your own learnings from the past few years and consider what innovations may help you and your team be more effective and prepared for the next big challenge.
Daryl Bert
Daryl Bert
t: 540-421-0696
Upcoming Events
AmSECT 60th International Conference
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Thurs., Apr. 7 to Sun., Apr. 10
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