Hospital Administrators Identify Recruitment of Cardiology Team Among Biggest Challenges

Contact: Stephanie Abraham,, 202-375-6296

WASHINGTON, DC (March 6, 2012)—Hospital administrators identified recruitment of cardiologists and other cardiovascular professionals as one of the biggest challenges in running a cardiovascular unit, and 40 percent indicated the hospital has acquired or recently considered acquiring a cardiovascular practice, according to a survey by the American College of Cardiology.

Last fall, the ACC conducted a survey of 300 hospital executives and cardiovascular professionals representing 291 hospitals and medical facilities. According to the survey, 24 percent of the executives and 11 percent of the cardiovascular professionals indicated that recruiting cardiologists and other members of the cardiovascular team was one of their toughest challenges. Twenty-one percent of all the administrators identified financial challenges related to the economy and/or reimbursement issues as a top problem.

The survey reflected the trend toward integration of cardiology practices with 40 percent of administrators saying their facility had either acquired or had considered acquiring a cardiology practice in the last two years.  About 20 percent indicated they are considering an acquisition in the near future.

Administrators also believe that it is important for cardiologists to have achieved the designation of Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC). More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the administrators indicated that it was extremely or very important for cardiologists to have earned the FACC, and 72 percent said they were somewhat more likely or much more likely to hire a cardiologist with an FACC designation.

“The FACC distinction symbolizes a dedication and commitment to the highest quality of cardiovascular care,” said ACC CEO Jack Lewin, MD. Fellows are elected to the college based on their credentials, achievements, and contribution to cardiovascular medicine as recommended by faculty and members.

The survey also found that almost all hospitals participate in cardiovascular quality initiatives and 83 percent participate in ACC sponsored quality activities, with the ICD Registry (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator), the Door-to-Balloon program and the Cath PCI being most popular.

The ICD Registry helps physicians meet CMS requirements and benchmark ICD performance, the Cath PCI Registry allows physicians to benchmark their catheterization labs against nearly 600 hospitals and 2 million patient records and the ACC’s door-to-balloon program saved lives by helping hospitals meet the goal of treating heart attack patients in less than 90 minutes. The ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry® (NCDR) is the largest, most comprehensive, outcomes-based cardiovascular patient data repository in the U-S. Providers who use NCDR have tools to help them provide consistent care based on accepted guidelines.

About the American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 40,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at

About the Hospital Executive Leadership Study
The Hospital Executive Leadership research is based on a survey of 300 hospital administrators, including 100 executives (e.g. CEO, President, CMO, COO) and 200 cardiovascular business line administrators (e.g. Chief of Cardiology, Cardiology Director, Cath Lab Director, Senior Executive in Cardiovascular services, CV administrator).  This research represents a mix of hospitals across geography, location (urban/suburban/rural), bed size, and hospital type.  Interviews were conducted via telephone by Directions in Research from October 10 to November 2, 2011.

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