Author + information
- Shalom Jacobovitz, Chief Executive Officer, American College of Cardiology∗
- ↵∗Reprint requests and correspondence:
Shalom Jacobovitz, American College of Cardiology, 2400 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.
A few weeks ago, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) launched its revamped website: ACC.org. Over the last year, a team of College staff and member volunteers spent countless hours interviewing members about their online needs; meeting with website developers about how to leverage best practices and new technologies in light of the many new online channels available; and, last but certainly not least, building the actual site with all of these things in mind.
The end result is a site that provides easier and more personalized access to clinical practice guidelines, the latest published research, educational and practice management tools, and other trusted content that the cardiovascular community has come to expect from the College. Given the explosive growth in the use of multiple mobile platforms to access information, the new ACC.org and related tools, such as e-mail news digests, are also optimized for use across various mobile devices.
I am proud of the new site and all of the work from members and staff that went into making it a successful reality. Its launch is a huge step forward in positioning the College as an unbiased and reliable hub for the cardiovascular community to come together to provide the best patient care. It also provides a platform for us to be innovative and to showcase our advances, and it moves us toward our goal of reducing member burdens and increasing member value during a time of frequent and unprecedented change in health care.
According to Meg Wheatley, author and management consultant, “Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries” (1). The process that went into the development and launch of the new ACC.org embodies this definition. We learned from past mistakes, gathered information from across our member and staff networks, looked beyond our own walls for industry best practices, and developed a site that helps to meet the needs of members today, while also leaving some fluidity to meet the inevitable changing future digital landscape.
The insights and connections gained throughout the website development process are already being leveraged across other ACC projects, both big and small, aimed at ensuring the best possible tools for the best possible care. The College’s recently launched Guideline Clinical App is 1 example. As part of our efforts to modernize the guideline process and make guidelines more usable at the point of care, the mobile app provides easy access to guideline recommendations; “10 Points” summaries; and tools such as risk scores, calculators, and algorithms. The app can also be customized by using the bookmark, note-taking, and shareable PDF features. This is 1 of several cross-college efforts to better align mobile tools and educational resources with the release of clinical guidelines—a key element of our strategy to transform cardiovascular care.
The College is also thinking outside of the box in terms of how to best leverage its clinical data assets to inform research or measure the effect of new treatments, drugs, or devices. For example, 2 new PINNACLE registry studies recently provided unique and timely insights into the potential effects of the new ACC/American Heart Association cholesterol guidelines, as well as proposed changes to hypertension management (2,3). Similarly, the ACC and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons are blazing trails in the United States when it comes to understanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement. In addition, the College is looking at ways to use data to inform the development of clinical quality tools, such as risk calculators and shared decision-making resources that can be used at the point of care, whether at a physical location like a cardiovascular practice or a digital one online.
On an even greater scale, the ACC is excited about data aggregation opportunities with payers, health systems, international health organizations, and/or other partners that would allow for even greater understanding of the effects of treatments on patient outcomes. Our relationship with Symphony Health Solutions, a provider of high-value data, analytics, and technology solutions for life science manufacturers, payers, and providers, is a prime example of how an integrated health care database can support research aimed at advancing scientific understanding of cardiovascular care.
We are also exploring how the College, through its suite of hospital and outpatient data registries, can help members and patients take advantage of new technological capabilities like remote monitoring. For example, can we offer a way for patients to easily track their medication, exercise, and/or vital signs like blood pressure that can then be easily downloaded by their physician as part of a remote monitoring session? Or, are there opportunities to work with industry to track and measure outcomes in patients implanted with devices or sensors to manage their heart disease? All of these new ideas will also require working with payers around billing of services, as well as working with lawmakers and other stakeholders to incorporate new practices in the overall treatment paradigm.
Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer and founder of Amazon, once said that “every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities” (4). As we move ahead into the new year, my challenge to ACC leaders, staff, and members is to take these words to heart. We have created several new things—a new online home for the College being one of them—so let us ask and answer the new questions and hold tight to the new opportunities that come in their wake.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- Wheatley M.J.
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- ↵BrainyQuote.com. Jeff Bezos quotes. Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jeffbezos412272.html. Accessed December 1, 2014.