ICDs and Patient Communication

In a new blog, Dr. Kevin R. Campbell discusses how the need for a clear discussion of treatment options with patients remains a necessary and important part of the doctor/patient relationship. He describes a recently published article that examined the way in which cardiologists communicated with patients prior to implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and found that many patients felt inadequately prepared for the emotional and psychological aspects of ICD therapy prior to implantation. In addition, Dr. Campbell notes that researchers found many patients felt they did not fully understand the reason for the procedure or its possible complications. Dr. Campbell urges clinicians to both reevaluate the way in which procedures are discussed with patients and to communicate options in a way that allows patients to make the best treatment decisions available for the long term.

In a related article, EP Lab Digest@ also recently published an interview with Dr. Rachel Lampert, Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, about newly published research on patients’ attitudes and perceptions of ICDs. In their research they found five main themes that seemed to influence patient decision. This study is unique because it was the first to directly ask patients about their perceptions of ICDs prior to receiving them, and allowed the researchers to start generating hypotheses about which of these patient concerns might be playing the biggest role in their decision making regarding ICDs.

What aspects of ICD implantation are discussed pre-procedure with your patients? We hope you will check out these articles and send us your feedback!


2013 CPT Codes and Clarifications

In the January 2013 issue of EP Lab Digest®, author Jim Collins, CPC, CCC, President of CardiologyCoder.com, Inc., provided an article on the 2013 CPT code changes that were taking effect in the new year.

Since this article was published, several readers have sent in their questions regarding code changes, and the author has provided some clarifications and responses to these questions in the “Comments” section below the article.

The author has explained that since this article was written, the correct coding initiative manual for 2013 was released, and the AMA and CMS have also since weighed in on a few issues. Therefore, in our upcoming April 2013 issue of EP Lab Digest®, Jim Collins will be contributing an updated article explaining the current status of CPT code changes. Stay tuned!

Renal Denervation in the News

More news on renal denervation today: St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced plans for the EnligHTNment trial, an international, multi-center, randomized, controlled study examining the safety and effectiveness of renal denervation with the EnligHTN™ Renal Denervation System. The trial will evaluate the long-term effects of renal denervation in patients with uncontrolled hypertension to determine if it also reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke and death. Renal denervation therapy is a minimally invasive, catheter-based ablation procedure aimed at treating patients with hypertension. The EnligHTN Renal Denervation System earned European CE Mark approval in 2012 but is not yet approved for use in the U.S.

In a recent interview with EP Lab Digest®, Dr. Jonathan Steinberg, Director of the Arrhythmia Institute at The Valley Health System in New York and New Jersey, discussed their study showing that renal denervation prevented atrial fibrillation when combined with catheter ablation. A collaboration between The Valley Health System and cardiologists in Siberia, Russia led to the publication of their randomized, double-blind study.

Insights from the EP Lab

One of our most popular monthly features in EP Lab Digest® is the “EP Insights” section. In this regular column, electrophysiologists offer their perspective on various topics related to the EP field. In our February 2013 issue, we encourage you to check out two highlighted EP Insights articles from two of our favorite contributors.

Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC presents some of the major issues surrounding gender disparities in cardiovascular care, and addresses how one can make a difference in these outcomes. Dr. Campbell is with Wake Heart and Vascular in Raleigh, North Carolina; Assistant Professor at UNC Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology; Director of Electrophysiology at Johnston Health; and President of K-Roc Consulting, LLC. Dr. Campbell also has a monthly blog on EP Lab Digest®’s website; see his recent post on the importance of routine office visits.

Also in this issue, Edward J. Schloss, MD, Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, shares his list of lessons learned over the years in cardiac device implantation and follow up. We first talked with Dr. Schloss back in March 2012 during this feature interview.

Thanks Dr. Campbell and Dr. Schloss!

Opportunities for the EP Lab Professional

This upcoming Sunday, February 10th, marks the start of Cardiovascular Professionals Week, so we’d like to take a moment to share just a few of the latest opportunities for those in the EP field!


Included in EP Lab Digest®’s February 2013 issue is the monthly update from the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP). In this feature the SICP includes information on how to become more active in committees within the SICP, such as the Industry Committee or Education Committee. They also list their upcoming Signature RCIS and RCES Review Courses, as well as specially discounted rates to the New Cardiovascular Horizons (NCVH) conference in June.


Also, if you’re looking for a job in EP, be sure to check out EP Lab Digest®’s newly updated list of available EP job openings! From the East Coast to the West Coast, we feature listings from all over the U.S.!