SpecialtyCare’s education scholarship program is designed to support and assist cardiovascular perfusion students who demonstrate the potential to advance patient-focused care in a way that honors the legacies of Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt. The selection committee was delighted by the strong response and overwhelming quality of this year’s candidate pool, which further illustrates the extraordinary talent and commitment of our finalists. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2018 Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Education Scholarships are Jacki Brolhorst and Robert DeGiosio. We are confident that they will make significant contributions to patients’ lives and the practice of cardiovascular perfusion for years to come.
The risks and complications of blood transfusion are well documented. One technique commonly used to help reduce the need for bank blood is autotransfusion, also referred to as intraoperative autotransfusion (IAT) or autologous blood transfusion. IAT is a method of collecting the patient’s blood lost during surgery, processing it, and returning it to the patient. This can significantly reduce, or even eliminate the need for blood transfusions, which in turn reduces complications and the cost of care.
SpecialtyCare’s Executive Leadership supports the funding of perfusion education tuition for two students enrolled in CAAHEP-accredited programs. We will begin accepting the next round of applications for the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship Program on December 1, 2017. Perfusion is both a vital medical service and a smart career choice. About 350,000 people need open heart surgery and related cardiovascular perfusion support every year. However, hospitals are currently experiencing a perfusionist shortage, and qualified experts are in high demand. We are committed to actively recruiting smart, motivated men and women into the field to ensure that surgeons and patients have skilled perfusion care available when they need it most.
Evidence-based patient blood management (PBM) strategies offer significant clinical benefits. Conservation techniques, in particular, help minimize the use of allogeneic red blood cell transfusion, which has been shown to increase the risk of postoperative complications, readmissions, and mortality among patients. Because of the importance of this area of study, SpecialtyCare researchers continue to drill down and analyze the perfusion and autotransfusion cases in SCOPE, the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry™, to examine the impact of various strategies, develop best practices, and improve patient outcomes.
To strengthen alignment among multiple surgical disciplines, the American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology (AmSECT) and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) teamed up to present a terrific joint learning opportunity, holding AmSECT’s 55th International Conference in conjunction with the Centennial Meeting of the AATS in Boston. The integrated program was designed to improve care by bringing surgeons, perfusionists, and other experts together to foster effective communication and coordination in the operating room. The combined meeting was a great example of collaboration that advances quality through evidence-based learning and improvement. We are proud to have been part of this special event.
Perfusion is an integral part of your hospital’s cardiovascular care program, but the overhead costs and administrative burden of maintaining and managing a team of reliable perfusionists with advanced skills can pose challenges for program administrators. It can be easy, however, to overlook both the indirect costs and benefits of clinical services. So, whether your perfusion is handled in-house or outsourced, we’ve developed a new guide, The Real Spend of Your Perfusion Program: Twelve Tips to Discover the True Value, to help you evaluate your program and any changes that you might be considering.
Consolidation in healthcare is nothing new, in fact it’s hotter than ever. Most analysts, and others who know the industry well, will tell you this trend is positive as we seek better patient outcomes, operational efficiencies, and cost containment to deliver higher value care. In the outsourced medical service provider sector of healthcare, we also can increase value with mergers and acquisitions. As the sector matures, consolidation offers new opportunities to provide customers with high quality, specialized, and reliable services that support hospitals’ goals within today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Collaborating and sharing research findings and best practices with other medical professionals is one of the great pleasures of working in healthcare. Recently, the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion’s 38th International Meeting gave SpecialtyCare’s Medical Office team members the opportunity to present two new papers to the perfusion community. One of the studies examines “The Effect of Ultrafiltration on End-Cardiopulmonary Bypass Hematocrit during Cardiac Surgery.” The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of ultrafiltration on end-cardiopulmonary bypass hematocrit by cardiac surgical procedure type. The findings are summarized in today’s blog.
When we decided to create the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarships program in honor of Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt—men who helped advance the practice of perfusion—we felt it was important to find and support students with the potential to drive improvement in healthcare like Jim and Gary did throughout their careers. Today, we are proud to announce that Cassandra Wuest and Kyle Zelesnick are the recipients of our 2017 perfusion education scholarships, and they are even more talented and impressive than we had hoped.
Recently I attended the 2017 Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion. The AACP, as always, offered strong educational content and a great opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues. While there, I had the pleasure of presenting co-authored research on “The Effectiveness of Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution and Autologous Prime on Intraoperative Blood Management during Cardiac Surgery.” The AACP honored our team, which includes our perfusion associates and their tireless dedication to clinical excellence and data collection, by selecting this work as the meeting’s Best Paper. I encourage you to read the abstract for additional detail, but here’s a summary of our findings, which highlight the value of thoughtful perfusion strategies that can reduce the need for costly transfusions and increase the likelihood of better clinical outcomes.