ACC Chapters Leading Innovation on the Ground

Innovation, defined by Merriam-Webster as “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method, or device,” is what has made and continues to make the ACC a leader in transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. Cutting-edge educational programs and products, clinical guidelines, quality improvement programs, clinical data registries and most recently hospital accreditation services have been helping cardiovascular professionals around the world prevent and treat heart disease for more than six decades.

ACC state chapters, numbering 48 in total and representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico, often serve as on-the-ground incubators for this innovation. Over the years, innovations at the local level have resulted in larger, state-wide and even national programs and policies aimed at improving patient outcomes, closing gaps in care and/or lowering health care costs. Several of these efforts were recently highlighted as part of the 2016 State of the States Report – a document compiled annually by the ACC’s Board of Governors to showcase the accomplishments, successes and challenges of each chapter in their respective state or region.

Among the innovation highlights:

  • The ACC’s Virginia Chapter continues to partner with the Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative (VCSQI) on an effort to merge data from ACC’s CathPCI Registry with data from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). To date, institutions accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total percutaneous coronary interventions in the state have signed on to be part of the program, which will help with understanding and managing population health by looking at quality and cost in real-world experiences.
  • More than 640 clinicians at nine hospitals and private practices located in Florida and Wisconsin are now taking part in the Smarter Management And Resource use in Today’s Complex CV Care (SMARTCare) pilot program – thanks to efforts by the ACC’s Florida and Wisconsin chapters. The three-year quality improvement project funded through a $15.2 million Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation Award Round II, implements a suite of tools and registries which engage clinicians and patients in shared decision making and decision support to help assure care meets ACC appropriate use criteria and guidelines consistent with the patient’s goals and values.
"I am genuinely impressed and amazed by the significant positive impact that our members, working alongside other strategic partners, can have when they come together with a mission, a plan and a purpose.” A. Allen Seals, MD, FACC
  • The California Chapter in August 2016 hosted its inaugural Technology Fair in Hollywood, providing clinicians, engineers, innovators and researchers with a unique opportunity to explore, ask questions and learn more about emerging technologies and their applications and discuss opportunities to further technology to help improve patient care and outcomes.
  • A pilot project to teach CPR in communities near the two major metropolitan area hospitals in Puerto Rico was launched by the Puerto Rico Chapter in 2016. The innovative program leveraged the Chapters’ cardiovascular (CV) team members and could serve as a model for other CV Team-led programs aimed at educating patients and families about cardiovascular risk. Similarly, the Oklahoma Chapter hosted the first “Push for Life” community event aimed at educating the broader public about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, how to employ compression-only CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • ACC Chapter Exchange programs are examples of “something new” that have the potential to foster new ideas and methods for improving patient care and outcomes around the world. The ACC’s Arizona, California, New Jersey and New York chapters have partnered with international ACC chapters in Mexico, Israel, Greece and Argentina, respectively. These partnerships are intended to empower members from both chapters to work collaboratively on the facilitation of meetings, the sharing of ideas and best practices, the hosting of visiting students and professional staff, and more.

“These are just a few examples of extraordinary Chapter projects and programs – all centered on goals and objectives that are in concert with the ACC strategic plan, says ACC BOG Chair A. Allen Seals, MD, FACC. “The fact that these successful and innovative projects were initiated by ACC Chapters is a true testament to the importance of ACC’s chapter system and outreach of our members at a local and regional level. I am genuinely impressed and amazed by the significant positive impact that our members, working alongside other strategic partners, can have when they come together with a mission, a plan and a purpose.”


Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Accreditation, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Cardiovascular Diseases, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Defibrillators, Health Care Costs, Medicaid, Medicare, Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Pilot Projects, Private Practice, Quality Improvement, Registries, Research Personnel, Risk Factors, Surgeons

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