University Health System
- Posted on: 6/19/08
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What type of procedures are performed at your facility?
UHS Cath Labs perform about 15,686 procedures annually, approximately 300 procedures per week. We perform various cardiac and peripheral interventions, including adult diagnostic heart studies, electrophysiology (EP) studies, device implantations, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), cardiac stenting, alcohol (ETOH) ablations, chronic total occlusions (CTOs), atrial septal defect (ASD), patent foramen ovale (PFO) and ventricular septal defect (VSD) closures, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), rheolytic thrombectomy, atherectomy, renovascular stenting, peripheral atherectomy, thrombectomy and peripheral stenting. Our carotid intervention volume has been increasing, according to Stephanie Hyde, CCL Data Systems Coordinator.
Does your cath lab perform primary angioplasty with surgical backup?
UHS Cath Labs have arrangements with our cardiothoracic surgery staff on a 24/7 basis.
Have you had any cath lab-related complications in the past year requiring emergent cardiac surgery?
I can recall we had one right coronary artery (RCA) perforation that required emergent cardiac surgery.
Has your cath lab expanded in size and patient volume?
With the recent addition of peripheral procedures performed in the cath lab, new cardiologists and a new electrophysiologist (Dr. Manoj Panday), we have indeed seen a patient increase. At this pace, we will be experiencing more volume and may have to add another lab suite or a computed tomography angiography (CTA) suite.
How does your cath lab compete for patients?
UHS is the only county facility that has referrals from most of south central Texas due to its trauma Level I status. In addition, from our cardiology group, we receive referred patients with critical needs from nearby communities.
What procedures do you perform on an outpatient basis?
We perform diagnostic heart studies as well as certain peripheral interventions.
What percentage of your patients are female?
Fifty-seven percent of our patients are female.
What percentage of your diagnostic cath patients go on to have an interventional procedure?
Anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of our diagnostic cases become interventions.
Who manages your cath lab?
The cath lab is under Patient Care Services, of which Nancy Ray RN, MA is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)/Associate Administrator. The cath lab is managed primarily by a clinical director (Franklin D. Espanto, BSC, RCIS) with a medical director (Marc Feldman, MD). What is unique about this setup is the very close bond between these entities. With the support of the CNO, clinical decisions are made by both the medical and clinical directors. In addition, every staff members is a part of this management process. We collect, review and discuss issues to further raise the bar in delivering patient care.
Do you have cross-training? Who scrubs, who circulates and who monitors?
Currently, we do not have cross-trained staff. It has been a focus since I arrived at University Hospital two years ago. We have been working towards this goal through simple educational sessions and protocol reviews. Since University Hospital is affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio (UTHSCSA), the staff attending cardiologist scrubs with the fellow. We have a CVT that monitors, an RN that circulates and an RN that charts. On occasion, we have our CVTs or RCISs scrub cardiac and peripheral procedures. We do have our trained technologists assist on all device implantations.
Does an RT (radiologic technologist) have to be present in the room for all fluoroscopic procedures in your cath lab?
Not necessarily, since the cardiac fellow and the staff attending cardiologist operate the x-ray equipment. The physicians primarily control the positioning of the II, table panning and stepping on fluoro.
How did you begin performing peripheral cases?
Initially, the cardiologists were performing simple peripheral renovascular, carotid and lower extremity procedures. After upgrading one of our radiological units to improved imaging technology, vascular surgery joined in to use our lab. We became aggressive in our supply capabilities and have exposed our staff, particularly the CVTs, to scrubbing in on these procedures.
What specific equipment was instituted and/or dedicated towards peripheral cases?
Since most of peripheral supplies are macro compared to the cardiac side, it was important to have a process to introduce these supplies. With our own supply section, we had very close communications with the primary peripheral operators on what was needed. Operations manager David Parks, Jr., arranged with the various peripheral vendors to consign supplies. A peripheral cart with the supplies essential for these procedures was created. Some of the specific equipment requested was the Silverhawk catheter (FoxHollow Technologies, Inc., Redwood City, CA), Frontrunner® XP CTO catheter (Cordis Corporation, Miami, FL) and the Angio-Jet® system (Possis Medical, Inc., Minneapolis, MN).
How is inventory management handled for the peripheral equipment?
With the help of our hemodynamic system, which has a bar code feature, the operations manager can see and forecast peripheral supplies that are routinely used and must be re-ordered before we have no replacements available on the shelves. This process also requires the personal effort of double-checking the cart once in a while, which is done by inventory specialist David Schmid.
What peripheral procedure training was instituted so staff could be competent and skilled?
During the transition of peripheral procedures into the cardiac lab, we initiated educational in-services targeting peripheral anatomy, procedures, and supply and equipment use. We also attended peripheral coding seminars to learn accurate peripheral charging and coding.
Do different disciplines perform procedures in the same area?
Our cardiologists and vascular surgeons perform these procedures in the cath lab. However, vascular surgery uses one of the lab suites on a certain day of the week.
Did your facility need to make any changes to the imaging equipment to accommodate peripheral procedures?
No. We already had a lab suite that has the desired features like DSA, imaging grab, stent boosting, enhanced digital imagery and table stepping.
What are some of the new equipment, devices and products introduced at your lab lately?
About a year ago, UHS was the first site to have the integrated IVUS unit with our x-ray system (by Philips Medical Systems and Volcano Corporation). We were a beta site before release of the S-I series a few months ago. We have the Pioneer Catheter (Medtronic Inc., Santa Rosa, CA), which is combination of an Outback catheter (Cordis Corp.) and an IVUS catheter used in CTOs. We also use steerable wires.
Can you describe the system(s) you utilize?
Our main system that we interact with on a daily basis would be the physio-hemodynamic unit. It is the Witt system (Philips Medical, Bothell, WA), which has been in use at University Hospital for over 4 years. We have experienced ease of use with the system and found it has a great database to query information. The staff likes it because it is customizable to the various practice changes that occur in a growing lab.
How do you handle vendor visits to your lab?
Vendor visits are not totally restricted. We allow one or two non-competing vendors at a time. Since the vendors are a good source of education, we welcome them to help us with hands-on training on their equipment and in-services. They are also sources of CEUs or contact hours for our staff. Vendors must still follow our hospital guidelines. They sign in and are issued badges while on the premises. They are not allowed to deliver patient care; however, they are invited to work with our physicians and staff on individual basis.
How is coding and coding education handled in your lab?
Coding education is handled by management through intra-departmental in-services. The staff are educated on the different procedural codes. The hospital charge master informs the CCL of any updates and/or changes regarding cardiac and peripheral codings. We have invited the coders to observe procedures performed in the cath lab to understand what we do and relate to the codes they see everyday.
How does your lab handle hemostasis?
The majority of our patients receive an invasive closure device. We currently use StarClose (Abbott Vascular, Redwood City, CA), Angio-Seal (St. Jude Medical, Minnetonka, MN), Perclose (Abbott Vascular) and manual compression. Patients that get a closure device go straight to the recovery wards and follow routine post-procedure care. However, patients that undergo manual compression will be pulled in our holding area by a physician, RN, technologist or CCT. Kriss Jones RN notes that patients are observed by our nurses, then sent to the recovery ward or discharged from the holding area.
What is your lab's hematoma management policy?
It includes proper procedure to obtain hemostasis, expressing the hematoma and the use of the FemoStop (Radi Medical Systems, Inc., Wilmington, MA).
How is inventory managed at your cath lab?
Supply inventory is the responsibility of every staff member. Staff work together to handle and identify supplies that are used routinely. Periodically, staff performs a inventory of all supplies to identify any expirations as well as product rotations. Purchasing of supplies and equipment, however, is another story. I believe this is the most challenging job of all. It requires thorough attention and skill acquired through the daily routine to keep up with the pace. One thing we don't want is an empty shelf. David Parks Jr, our operation manager and David Schmid, our inventory specialist, do an excellent job.
Is your lab involved in clinical research?
Yes! Being affiliated with UTHSCSA, we are always involved in one or two new research studies every six months. We are currently involved in:
CORAL: Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions
Closure I: a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the STARFlex® septal closure system versus best medical therapy in patients with a stroke and/or transient ischemic attack due to presumed paradoxical embolism through a PFO.
EARLY-ACS: Early Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibition in Non ST segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Clinical Benefits of Early Front-loaded Eptifibatide in the Treatment of Patients with Non-ST segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome
CURRENT/OASIS7: Clopidogrel Optimal Loading Dose Usage to Reduce Recurrent EveNTs/ Optimal Antiplatelet Strategy for InterventionS
What other modalities do you use to verify stenosis?
Use of IVUS (Volcano Corp. and Boston Scientific) and the FloWire (Volcano Corp.) are some of our methods of verifying stenosis and lesion physiology. University Hospital Cath Lab has also been involved in Virtual Histology IVUS (Volcano Corp.).
What measures has your cath lab implemented in order to cut or contain costs?