Building an IR practice by walking the halls

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Building an IR practice by walking the halls

March 06, 2020
Cardiology Operating Room
From the March 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

For example, I often share the results of the ATTRACT trial. The study (known as Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis) compared two treatment strategies for various forms of DVT in a randomized, multicenter trial. The study found that patients with DVT should continue to be treated with drugs alone, without necessarily undergoing any procedure-based intervention. However, the study also showed that a minimally-invasive catheter-directed therapy can provide greater relief of initial leg pain and swelling and is likely to prevent disability in certain DVT patients.

Administrators also need to see outcomes data on our work to demonstrate the value IR is providing to the hospital and its patients. Properly contextualized outcomes and cost data help create useful metrics to make the business and clinical case for IR.

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I’ve found that these conversations most often come together informally, creating a need to constantly be at the ready to share information, whether it’s in an elevator or at the lunch counter.

4. Create a team-based culture
The evolving skillset of IRs can present a challenge to our colleagues and patients in understanding how and when to tap into IR to improve care. This creates a need for constant education and relationship building to demonstrate the power of the specialty. The best way to create this model of collaboration is by creating a culture of support and teamwork that starts with the IR team.

This type of collegiality is critical at a time where clinician burnout is rampant across every generation and specialty. We must all put ego aside to consider the challenges we each face and how we can work together for the benefit of our patients. Furthermore, we must take the time to train and educate medical residents and create a positive work environment.

While the tone and intention behind creating a supportive work culture are paramount, I’ve also found that it doesn’t hurt to throw in donuts or pick up dinner occasionally to bring everyone together and help break out of the hospital food desert.

5. Show up, be present and follow through
Accessibility of IR is key for building an environment of trust and accountability. Answer the phone when a colleague calls. Carve out time for patient consults. Volunteer services to help on all different types of cases. Bring patients into clinic to continue to follow their progress. These are the things that differentiate IR from proceduralists. We are partners in clinical care, not technicians, and we must nurture these relationships.

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