ACVP Stands Up for Team-Based Care

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals has a long history of supporting quality care and protecting the scopes of practice of all non-physician professionals in the cardiac cath lab and all cardiovascular environments. ACVP is a true “Alliance,” formed by the joining together, over its decades-long history, of several organizations catering to non-physician cardiovascular professionals.

ACVP’s predecessor organization was intricately involved in the recognition of Cardiovascular Technology as an allied health in the late 70s and early 80s, in conversation with the American College of Cardiology and the American Medical Association. Ever since, ACVP has advocated on behalf of all non-physicians in cardiovascular care, including Registered Nurses and Radiologic Technologists.

For example, ACVP worked with the American Society of Radiologic Technology (ASRT) and others in supporting the Consumer Assurance and Radiologic Excellence (CARE) Act to protect patients and cardiovascular professionals from harmful radiation.

ACVP strongly believes, and the evidence supports, that all professionals—RNs, RTs and CVTs—bring important backgrounds and competencies to the provision of high quality cardiovascular care. Unfortunately, quality team-based and collaborative inter-professional care is often threatened by territorial regulations, especially in the cath lab environment.

State-to-State Advocacy in the Cath Lab

In 2000, ACVP spent considerable time, resources and energy supporting pursuit of invasive licensure in the State of Ohio. We provided testimony, worked with lawyers in the State, prepared statistical analyses, and sent a member to relevant hearings. The result was a revision of Department of Health Code 3701-72 governing radiology technology.

Since 2000, we have seen similar issues pop up in States around the U.S., where there is discussion or action enforcing rules that limit professions from performing functions for which they are trained. Often, in the name of patient safety, regulatory boards will move to limit certain procedures in the cardiac cath lab to the purview of Radiologic Technologists, only. These restrictions reflect misguided efforts that may significantly interfere with the provision of quality care and patient safety in the cath lab.

Unfortunately, these restrictions severely limit the scope of practice of cardiovascular technologists and invasive specialists, and can be simplistically interpreted in such ways as to push these specialized and qualified professionals out of cath labs across the State. As we’ve stated, this can significantly negatively affect quality care and patient safety through artificial shortages in qualified professionals and less collaborative care.

Most recently, ACVP has supported efforts in California to remove these harmful restrictions. “I am proud to say, we are almost finished with regulations that will protect the future of cardiovascular professionals,” said ACVP member Ed Pezanoski, RCIS in 2016. “Together, we are helping to protect and shape the future of cardiac care.”

ACVP is also currently involved in Maryland work-groups discussing related issues. You can read the latest advocacy update for Maryland professionals from September 25, here. ACVP has also been made aware of potential misinterpretations of New Jersey code which may be negatively affecting scopes of practice of professionals at certain organizations.

If there are outstanding, related issues in your State, please contact ACVP’s executive director, Peggy McElgunn, Esq. at peggymcelgunn@comcast.net.