We share an email exchange where two readers contacted author Jim Wade, RN, MBA, FSICP, Rockford, Illinois, regarding his March 2010 article, “A New IT Role is Needed for the Cath Lab” (available online at www.cathlabdigest.com).
From: “Jenny I Chase” <Jenny.I.Chase@kp.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Subject: IT please explain training requirements?
I read your article in Cath Lab Digest at least twice and each time I agreed with you 100%. The question that I have is regarding the level of skill and competence required by the CVIS Coordinator.
I have met radiology techs who believe that since they have been involved in the evolution of the CVL for years and years it serves to qualify them as the CVIS coordinator. I have yet to find a job description, a skill requirement, a certificate of mastery, or college degree that addresses your proposed position.
Is there any information that you can share with me or is there a site that is specific enough to use for the CVL position?
I have worked with rad techs who are fabulous and have, on their own, invested in classes for IT, Biomed, XL, Access, CPT coding, and more to keep up with the demands of the job. On the other hand, I have worked with individuals who are not as motivated and go around calling themselves the “system administrator” to the cath lab equipment simply because they know who to call at Philips when the equipment goes down.
As the manager of the CVL, it is important to have the right person for the job. I know enough to understand the concepts and help out here and there, but I do not have the time to manage it all myself.
Any ideas? An article about where to get such a person as you described would be great.
Jenny Chase, RN, MSN
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
To: Jenny I Chase/OR/KAIPERM@KAIPERM
Subject: Re: IT please explain training requirements?
Thanks for your email. Yes, the issues you mention are the very issues that made me want to write the article. Much of this work has just evolved over time and so it isn’t yet a true “profession.” There is inadequate education, work definition and resources to support what is needed. There are some good academic medical information programs, but they are not focused specifically on cardiology. I think it will come, but it will take some time and support from physicians, administrators and perhaps the government and payers.
From: “Josephine Storch” <JStorch@solarishs.org
To: “Jim Wade” <email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Subject: CVIS coordinator article
In my quest to find “industry” support for my ever-evolving role in the cath lab, I came across your wonderfully thorough article in the March 2010 Cath Lab Digest. You GET IT! Most people I’ve dealt with over the past 20 years have no idea what managing the data really means in our quirky little world. As you so eloquently displayed in your article, the CVIS coordinator wears many hats and is pivotal to many decision and process platforms. There isn’t anything that our data doesn’t impact: whether it’s inventory, quality, volume, utilization, staff competency, research, etc… With the proper support from dedicated data staff and administration, the sky’s the limit on where our data can lead us. While I know I’m preaching to the choir…it feels good to let it out! No, I’m not crazy, just passionate about the potential of our “information.”
In the past, I have helped other labs create and bolster their data “situations/processes” for both internal and external sources, but now I’m the one asking for help. Would you have or would you know of where I can get a copy of a job description for a cath lab CVIS coordinator? Any help or guidance in finding one that I can use as support and as a framework for our specific hospital would be greatly appreciated.
I look forward to speaking or corresponding with you.
Thanks for your time,
Josephine A. Storch\
Team Leader, Clinical Data
Cardiac Catheterization Lab
Tri-County Heart NJ, LLC
JFK Medical Center
Solaris Health System
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011
To: Josephine Storch <JStorch@solarishs.org>
Cc: Rebecca Kapur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: CVIS coordinator article
I am sorry, but I was unable to find any job description worthy of sending. I suspect there will be too little emphasis placed upon this role and then there will be the eventual rush to create and fill roles when the dam bursts. However, I will save your email address and if I come across something interesting, I will send it to you.
[Editor’s note: Jim was kind enough to keep his first reader, Jenny Chase, aware of his recent conversation with Jo Storch. Jenny responds:]
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011
Cc: <JStorch@solarishs.org>, Rebecca Kapur <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: CVIS coordinator article
There seems to be a rising interest in this topic again, and with good reason. Most of the time, the work a CVIS coordinator performs is under-recognized; hence, undervalued and underfunded. Unfortunately, this response perpetuates a decrease in productivity performance, finance, and ultimately, safe outcomes. The focus is severe and excruciating for meeting TJC requirements, CMS requirements, or any other number of regulatory metrics. Yet there is no focus on the single most important bridge across all these desirable facility goals. How can we promote the use of an expert in this field, which only helps in meeting the aforementioned requirements?
Agh! You got me started again . . .
Standing together and supporting each other through dialogue, articles, and education is our best weapon.
Carry on the good work….
Jenny Chase, RN, MSN
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
Have something to add to this exchange, or a question of your own? Jump in and send an email!
Jim Wade, RN, MBA, FSICP, Rockford, Illinois, author of the March 2010 article, “A New IT Role is Needed for the Cath Lab” can be contacted at
Jo Storch, Team Leader, Clinical Data, CCL, at Tri-County Heart NJ, LLC, JFK Medical Center, Solaris Health System, can be contacted at
Jenny Chase, RN, MSN, Manager CVL/CVPR/EP at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, can be contacted at Jenny.I.Chase@kp.org.
(And don’t forget to cc CLD at firstname.lastname@example.org.)