LAS VEGAS — The use of smart technology by early-career interventional congenital cardiologists is common and prevalent and associated with improved communication, consultation and speed, according to study results presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Scientific Sessions.
However, concerns regarding patient privacy, liability and security should be addressed moving forward, according to Michael Seckeler, MD, MSc, from the University of Arizona Medical Center, and fellow researchers.
A 20-question, Web-based survey was sent to 46 members of the Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Early-Career Society (PICES) to assess the use of, satisfaction with and barriers to smart technology for communication about planning and approaches for diagnostic and interventional catheterization procedures, according to the study abstract.
Seventy-four percent of participants reported using smart technology to discuss cardiac catheterization. More than half (54%) of responders indicated using smart technology at least once per week, and 26% reported using it for almost every case. Information send via smart technology included still images of angiograms (76%), cineangiograms (50%), echo images (32%), CT/MRI images (18%), and hemodynamic and case data (15%).
Forty-five percent of responders reported active communication via smart technology during a case. Of these, most contacted a partner or local colleague (67%), whereas others contacted a remote colleague (45%), cardiac surgeon (39%), referring cardiologist (15%) or patient family member (12%). In cases in which a remote colleague was contacted, it was mostly with a former mentor (35%) or senior faculty member (32%).
Sixty-three percent of responders noted that their communication via smart technology could result in a change to their planned procedures, and 91% indicated feeling more confident with their approach after the communication. Thirty-six percent confirmed performing a new interventional procedure for the first time as a result of advice they received via smart technology-based communication.
When questioned about possible barriers to the use of smart technology, most expressed concern about patient privacy. Although 85% of responders reported taking precautions to protect patient privacy, 88% stated that they rarely or never sought permission from patients to communicate about their case in this manner.
“People are being careful about protecting patient identifiers and privacy, but we haven’t gotten to the point where we’re routinely consenting for this type of communication,” Michael D. Seckeler, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona, told Cardiology Today. “In the end, we don’t understand all the safety and security issues or the liability and legal aspects yet. These are things that need to be explored more in the future.
“The technology is here and people are using it, we just need to make sure that it’s being used appropriately.” – by Adam Taliercio
For more information:
Seckeler M. Abstract C-040. Presented at: the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Scientific Sessions; May 28-31, 2014; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Seckeler reports no relevant financial disclosures.