Chris’ Corner: What a Year! Reflections on 2012

What a year it has been in cardiology, from lots of medical advances, to great meetings, to a new entry in our information flow—Cardiosource WorldNews! 2012 has welcomed a fun new part of the Cardiosource family—a print magazine/newspaper just for us. A year ago, I got a call from leaders at the ACC saying that they wanted to develop a large format color "tabloid" of cardiology news, and asked if I would be the editor-in-chief. I wondered what my bosses would think of me, being an editor of a tabloid… but I went for it. And what fun!

We were charged with doing something different—something edgy that challenges the status quo. The publisher is a terrific company called American Medical Communications. They have a hardworking managing editor who has kept us all moving along, and signed up long-time ACC friend Rick McGuire as the Executive Editor. They also have a great graphics department, and thought that attention-grabbing cover art and visuals should be a key part of CSWN. Combined with the large size, it really works!

When we were conceptualizing the new tabloid, I looked at other magazines to find the fun parts of them, and wound up turning to Sports Illustrated. They have a section with numbers and statistics (length of winning streaks, most passing yardage in a game, etc.). So we developed the "Number Check" page, filled with intriguing percentages and numbers in cardiology and health care. Another feature Sports Illustrated has: "Faces in the Crowd," which highlights promising high school athletes. For CSWN, we created an "Up and Coming" section to profile fellows and emerging young faculty. Someone suggested an interactive puzzle, so we created a cardiology-focused crossword puzzle. We have a health technology column (taking a page from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications) featuring all the latests gadgets and mobile apps, a column written by and for Fellows-in-Training, and an "edgy" column called "Straight Talk" where physicians are encouraged to discuss some controversial topics and opinions. We have Journal Scans, brief summaries of articles from the JACC journals, coverage of clinical trials and meetings, CVN videos, in-depth articles on emerging topics, and all the good things from CardioSource. It has been a lot of fun working with the group, and we all hope you have enjoyed CSWN. We look forward to a new year, and are open for any suggestions you have for new things to try out.

2012 has been a great year for education, as well. Both the ACC and the American Heart Association had terrific meetings this year. Patrick O'Gara, MD, and Rick Nishimura, MD, chaired the ACC program committee, and Elliott Antman, MD, and co-chair Robert Harrington, MD, did a great job at AHA.12. There were new types of sessions, and many important trials presented. AHA.12 may have set a record for Late-Breaking Clinical Trials: 28 of them in all, with 20 having simultaneous publications! These trials have brought about many advances, including lipid-lowering reaching new lows; surprise failures on raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; FREEDOM reaffirming CABG for diabetics; new developments in TAVR; novel anticoagulants for many indications; and much more. Now as these new advances are implemented in clinical practice, they will hopefully help improve our patients' outcomes.

For the CardioSource website, we look forward to a new year, where a "digital strategy" is now emerging to make the website more focused on users' needs. We have found we have an embarrassment of riches with so much content, and we need to make sure it can be quickly accessed. So, for example, there is a new Learning Portfolio, where the ACC can be the center of all things CME and MOC, that will draw on all the great content from CardioSource and be a simple way to stay on top of cardiology and certification.

The NCDR® registries are also growing, especially the PINNACLE® outpatient registry, which uses the novel approach of pulling data from electronic health records (EHRs), meaning millions of patients are enrolled with no research coordinator having to collect and enter data! Such passive collection of medical information is key, and allows us to look at all our patients in the "real world." As a clinical trialist, I am excited about this next step—reducing costs and increasing the number of medical treatments we can study through pragmatic, simple randomized trials using data from registries and EHRs.

This is an exciting time in cardiology, and CSWN will aim to keep you on top of all the advances!

Christopher P. Cannon, MD, is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of CardioSource Science & Quality.

Keywords: Physicians, Athletes, Thioguanine, Sports, Newspapers as Topic, Mobile Applications, Electronic Health Records, Cholesterol, Registries, Outpatients, Biomedical Technology, United States, Diabetes Mellitus

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