July Advocacy Update: California Fluoroscopy Guidance

California fluoroscopy regulations were amended in 2019/20 with recognition of all professionals in the cath lab—here's the latest.

The pandemic has brought many changes to the healthcare landscape.  One of the most notable recognitions, however, is the fact that allied health professionals are nimble, can provide ongoing support, and are, indeed, ESSENTIAL!

Nowhere is this more true than in the cardiovascular cath lab.  While there are many roles and functions that are critical for care, cardiovascular professionals are able to provide support across a variety of functions.

ACVP Helped Secure California Fluoroscopy Amendment

California’s Title 17 was amended in 2019/2020 with recognition that all professionals should be able to provide support as directed by the cardiologist. Restrictions preventing full participation have been lifted – especially as it relates to California fluoroscopy.

Cardiovascular professionals are able to move the patient, or, for the purpose of re-centering the equipment to the area of clinical interest, move the equipment as long as they are not actuating the equipment to emit radiation; selecting the technique factors or mode of operation; or moving the c-arm or table while radiation is being emitted

It is worth noting that as long as the operator (cardiologist) maintains the necessary fluoroscopy permit and is making these determinations, the cardiovascular professional is able to support the work appropriately. 

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals supported professionals on the ground in California in securing this important amendment.

Knowledge is Power: Continuing to Advocate on the Ground

Please note—often professionals are impacted by State-level regulations via another party's interpretation or understanding of said regulations. This understanding can be incomplete or out-of-date, causing resolved issues to linger in practice. It is crucial to be equipped with this knowledge and to continue to advocate to ensure that all professionals and administrators understand this amendment.

It may also be important to remember that this amendment may be wrongly misunderstood as a relaxing of regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic—that is not entirely the case, as this amendment was discussed and secured from 2015 through to 2019, via California Department of Public Health committees, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the health workforce. However, the pandemic does continue to illustrate its crucial importance.

Why This Amendment is Crucial, Beyond California Fluoroscopy

It is also always effective to continue to explain the amendment along with its rationales: it was fortunate this amendment was secured in California ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, when workforce shortages became an even more pressing issue.

There is a workforce shortage EVERYWHERE – it is not any anyone’s interest in restricting professionals from doing work for which they are trained, particularly where there has been no public harm demonstrated by full engagement.  The only way to alleviate shortages that impact both access and quality of care is to recognize the work of all professionals and encourage decision makers to employ professionals to reach the top of their credentials. 

In the case of CVTs, those that are credentialed or educated in formal programs have been trained to perform all roles as directed by a physician in a cath lab. It is important to employ all participants that help ensure the team produces the strongest quality outcomes possible.

Let us know what YOUR hospital is doing and how your institution is complying with the updated regulations.  Should ACVP pursue legislation to fully engage and exempt cardiovascular professionals? 

Please let us know – respond to peggymcelgunn@comcast.net with information regarding what your institution is doing and how it is managing to support all team members in the cath lab!

Support for Cardiovascular Professionals through COVID-19

ACVP Support for Cardiovascular Professionals Through COVID-19

Towards the beginning of this crisis, I wrote a message to our network regarding our response to COVID-19. Crucially, I want to remind everyone, again, that ACVP has maintained a remote staff infrastructure for many years, and our day-to-day operations and support for cardiovascular professionals has not changed despite COVID-19.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to update our members on how ACVP continues to provide outstanding support for cardiovascular professionals through COVID-19, and how we've been spending our time to continue to support our members and our profession.

1. Facilitating Virtual Continuing Education

The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals hasn't stopped developing and delivering quality continuing education in a virtual capacity. So far, in March and April alone, we've served hundreds of hours of continuing education to non-physician cardiovascular professionals through our new CVCEU on-demand education platform, which offers more than seven hours of educational modules absolutely free of charge.

We're working diligently behind the scenes to expand those offerings with all-new content, as well as secure sponsorship so that we can continue to deliver these new modules to professionals for free!

2. Facilitating Discussion & Collaboration in a Critical Time

Through this crisis, we've been blessed to have the active and engaged leadership of outstanding professionals and administrators in cardiovascular care to facilitate discussion and the sharing of best practices in real time.

We also continue to connect professionals, directly, with ACVP's CONNETWORK program. Thank you to our fellows and our leaders for going the extra mile despite the increased demands on their time.

1&2(b): Pre-Announcing Our Live Webinar Series in May

To facilitate both excellent virtual education and collaborative discussion, we're very excited to announce a LIVE webinar series in May which will feature outstanding cardiovascular service line administrators and directors and non-physician cardiovascular professionals sharing their experiences and insight into clinical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as looking forward to the new normal in cardiology services as the world slowly reopens.

These moderated panel discussions will provide excellent, real-time clinical education and CEs for attendees, free of charge. Stay tuned for more information - and make sure you're getting our emails by signing up, here.

Continue reading Support for Cardiovascular Professionals through COVID-19

The Value of an Association of Cardiovascular Professionals

the value of an association of cardiovscular professionals

My boss, Peggy McElgunn, is a truly excellent mentor and advocate. She has decades of experience serving as the Executive Director of the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals as well as with other professional associations and non-profit organizations across healthcare and other industries. Her wealth of knowledge and expertise is no small part of the value ACVP members receive for their dues investment. And in thinking about continuing the spirit of Cardiovascular Professionals Week year-round, I asked her to share with us some of her thoughts on the value of an association of cardiovascular professionals, what supporting an association like ACVP really does both for individuals and for the profession as a whole. - Kurt Jensen

Professional associations have existed for as long as people have gathered and there have been trades, crafts and professions.  It is apparent we have a basic need to form communities with people who share similar interests. There is no doubt that, together, we are able to professionally accomplish more than any one of us can do independently. 

Social Networks Can't Replace an Association of Cardiovascular Professionals

In an era of the internet and social communities, the value of professional associations have been questioned, particularly by younger entrants into a field. But the internet does not curate our professional connections. The internet does not promote professional recognition as a verified expert or qualified voice. The internet does not catalog the wealth of professional information and provide us with specific support to enable us to maximize our time and potential. 

Online social networks, alone, are a poor substitute for an association of cardiovascular professionals. Only an association with a history of commitment and dedication to its members can do this effectively. 

Continue reading The Value of an Association of Cardiovascular Professionals

Non-physician Cardiovascular Professionals are the Foundation of Quality Care

Cardiovascular Professionals Week 2020 Begins Feb 9!

Cardiovascular Professionals Week 2020 is next week, February 9-15! This year, the theme is Wholehearted Professionals, Wholehearted Care, in an effort to emphasize how the hard work and commitment of non-physician cardiovascular professionals produces excellent patient care—from patient advocacy to innovations impacting quality.

From the direct patient care to the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring new technological innovations, new perspectives, and improved team structures to cardiology: non-physician professionals are the foundation upon which quality care is built.

In recent years, there has been a push to improve the diversity of the cardiovascular workforce, as there have been direct links demonstrated between the diversity of care teams, and the quality of care—and even financial stability—of care-providing institutions. The ethos of teamwork and collaboration that defines cardiovascular work makes it an ideal platform for the improvement of diversity across the spectrum of care delivery.

As the need for, and accessibility of, cardiovascular care is expected to grow in the coming years and decades, the importance of multidisciplinary teams, diverse perspectives, and increased partnership between professionals is only going to become more pronounced. Non-physician cardiovascular professionals are the keystone that will ultimately bring cardiovascular care completely into the 21st century, as healthcare transitions from a “procedural” perspective to a more “programmatic” focus.

Continue reading Non-physician Cardiovascular Professionals are the Foundation of Quality Care