Medical Center Launches Regional Heart-Care Initiative
Ohio State’s Medical Center is launching a regional quality-improvement initiative to expedite care for patients suffering from the most serious form of heart attack: ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
“We know rapid care for these patients is critical to reducing mortality and improving patient outcomes,” says Ernest Mazzaferri Jr., MD, assistant professor of Internal Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine) and director of the regional STEMI program at Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. “We are focused on continuing to improve treatment times for heart patients throughout the region.”
Ohio State’s regional STEMI team is distributing computer modems to central Ohio EMS agencies, including the Columbus Division of Fire, to transmit electrocardiogram tracings directly from the field to any hospital in the central Ohio region that performs the specialized procedure to open a blocked artery.
Columbus Experts Submit Health Recommendations to President Obama
Area healthcare experts and advocates for healthcare reform met at University Hospital East and submitted their recommendations for national government health policy early this year.
It was one of a number of such meetings held around the country at the request of the new administration.
Steven G. Gabbe, MD, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Ohio State and CEO of Ohio State’s Medical Center, moderated the discussion.
The central Ohio group’s key recommendations included:
• Provide all consumers access to a medical home and extend the concept to include community-based programs.
• Increase access to preventive healthcare services.
• Encourage consumers to manage their health through the use of electronic medical records.
• Provide incentives to individuals, employers, communities and systems to take responsibility and accountability for their health.
• Move to a model that prioritizes “health care” over “sick care.”
• Implement educational-funding and clinical-practice reimbursement strategies that address the shortage of primary care physicians and workers.
• Implement strategies to increase cost effectiveness and efficiencies that will make health care affordable, sustainable and accessible to all.
Hospital Consortium Exploring Proton Therapy
Central Ohio’s four major hospital systems are jointly investigating the feasibility of bringing a proton therapy cancer treatment facility to Ohio.
Mount Carmel Health, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OhioHealth and The Ohio State University Medical Center have joined Battelle in forming an entity to study the technology and an appropriate path forward.
Proton therapy is a form of radiation therapy that is not widely available in the United States because the construction and equipment required to perform it are costly. It focuses radiation very tightly on tumors to reduce the impact on normal tissue nearby.
Ohio State Tests Wireless Heart-Failure Monitoring System
With millions of Americans hospitalized each year due to heart failure, Ohio State University Medical Center physicians are testing the safety and effectiveness of an implanted, wireless pressure sensor that may allow more rapid intervention by cardiologists when needed.
“The device provides real-time access to critical information at any time,” says William Abraham, MD, professor of Internal Medicine, director of Ohio State’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the trial’s co-principal investigator.
The device is implanted in the patient’s pulmonary artery
using a simple, catheter-based procedure. Physicians can also view the data on a hand-held computer, such as a personal digital assistant, at any time.
Hospital Unit Cuts Costs, Improves Efficiency
The Emergency Department at Ohio State’s University Hospital has opened a new unit designed to minimize unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce costs for both patients and the hospital.
The 20-bed Clinical Decision Unit serves patients whose conditions may require several hours of monitoring but not an overnight hospital stay. Staff in the unit use a structured evaluation process of more than 30 protocols for conditions such as congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney infection, chest pain and asthma. The goal is to free Emergency Department beds for additional patients and avoid unnecessary hospital stays and related costs.
Surgeons Perform Ohio State’s First Islet Transplant
A 30-year-old Ohio woman is the first person to have her pancreas removed in conjunction with an auto-islet cell transplant at The Ohio State University Medical Center. The dual procedure alleviated the pain of the patient’s lifelong pancreatitis while reducing the threat of her developing surgically induced diabetes.
The surgery offers several advantages, according to Amer Rajab, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Transplant Surgery at Ohio State, whose team performed the procedure. “The procedure utilizes the patient’s own islet cells, which eliminates any threat of rejection and substantially reduces the risk of the patient developing diabetes,” he says.
Rajab adds that the procedure is becoming more common as a treatment for pancreatitis but is offered only at select medical centers.
“It’s a complicated procedure; however, it offers much promise,” says Rajab.
Legislation Planned to Expand Access to Cancer Treatment Options
Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation that would protect access to treatment options for patients diagnosed with cancer. Brown’s Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act (Senate bill #488) prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to patients participating in clinical trials.
According to Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, an estimated 20 percent of patients who attempt to enroll in clinical trials are denied coverage by their insurance providers. Many insurance plans will not cover routine services provided during clinical trials.
“This federal legislation is crucial to ensure that all cancer patients nationwide have access to the best possible treatment, including leading-edge discoveries available only through clinical trials,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center and chief executive officer of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
College of Medicine Rises in U.S. News
The Ohio State University College of Medicine rose to 27th in the 2010 U.S.News & World Report "America’s Best Graduate Schools" rankings of American medical schools that was published in April. It also places the school among the top 10 medical schools at public universities.
This is a gain of three positions over the 2009 rankings and a gain of 17 positions since 2003 among the nation’s 125 medical schools and 20 schools of osteopathic medicine. It is the largest increase of any medical school over that time period.
The magazine’s rankings are based on a weighted average of eight indicators: peer assessment score, assessment score by residency directors, average undergraduate GPA, average MCAT score, acceptance rate, National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants, NIH research grants per faculty member and faculty-to-student ratio.
The most improved indicator for the College this year was the increase in the amount of NIH research grants, growing from $237.8 million to $272.3 million.
Robotic Surgery Compared to Laparoscopy to Treat Uterine Cancer
Patients with endometrial (uterine) cancer who have minimally invasive robotic-assisted hysterectomies tend to have quicker surgeries and shorter hospital stays compared with patients who have similar laparoscopic surgical procedures, according to new research from experts at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
“Our study found that robotic hysterectomy and lymph-node removal for uterine cancer results in shorter hospital stays and faster overall recovery with fewer complications compared with laparoscopic surgery,” says Jeffrey Fowler, MD, professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in Ohio State’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The findings are published online in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.
Ohio State Experts Co-Edit Heart Manual
Several Ohio State University Medical Center faculty members have co-authored a handbook on heart failure for use by pre-hospital care providers, emergency physicians, nurses and primary care physicians.
Management of Heart Failure in the Emergent Situation provides a comprehensive update on managing heart failure, from the pre-hospital setting (including EMS or a primary care physician’s office) to the emergency department and observation unit settings. The book also covers patient management, nursing issues and the economics of treating the disease.
Ragavendra Baliga, MBBS, assistant director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and James Neuenschwander II, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, are among the book’s editors.
Co-authors include: Paul Chacko, MBBS, in Ohio State’s Division of Hospital Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine; Brian Hiestand, MD, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine; Mark Moseley, MD, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and medical director of OSU Medical Center’s Emergency Department; and Robin Trupp, PhD, APRN-BC, in Ohio State’s College of Nursing.
Keep on Dancin’
A big concern for patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease is the risk of falling. Two Ohio State researchers have garnered international attention through an innovative exercise study that seeks to improve balance and walking for these patients.
A popular video-based game, Dance Dance Revolution , in which participants step to music according to a specific pattern displayed on a monitor, is employed by physical therapists Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS, associate professor of Clinical Allied Medicine – Physical Therapy, and her colleague Deborah Kegelmeyer, PT, DPT, MS, associate professor of Clinical Allied Medicine – Physical Therapy, to help patients improve coordination.
“Our earliest findings are that use of the game does improve balance in some individuals with HD,” says Kloos, who is principal investigator of the study.
This section was compiled by Katherine Dewitt.