This content is from the Winter 2012 issue of SCAI News & Highlights.
By J. Jeffrey Marshall, M.D., FSCAI
As interventional cardiologists, we know that beyond saving a patient’s life, restoring or improving quality of life is one of the most important elements of providing optimal care. We also know that the importance of quality of life is routinely overshadowed in today’s healthcare environment by the ongoing debate over issues including appropriate use, overuse, and cost. While SCAI continues to lead in addressing these core issues, a priority for me during my year as president has been to shed light on both the life-saving and life-enhancing value interventional cardiologists provide patients and how their quality of life changes for the better after interventional treatments.
This fall, SCAI launched a communications program that sought to bring this critical piece of our work to life. The centerpiece of the initiative was a patient perception survey of more than 460 adult heart disease patients, titled “Living Life to Your Heart’s Content: Patients Speak,” which found—
- Four out of five surveyed patients said their lives have changed for the better following angioplasty.
- Those who underwent angioplasty experienced dramatic improvement in quality of life in every one of 10 categories, including the ability to perform basic physical activity, opportunities for socializing, sex life, ability to do chores and run errands, participate in hobbies, feel financially secure, and improve relationships with spouses/significant others, family and friends.
- When compared to heart surgery patients, angioplasty patients were able to return to work nearly three times faster and required significantly less care by family and friends post-procedure.
To date, media outreach efforts have reached an audience of over 36 million people. I participated in a satellite media tour (SMT) featuring interviews with a patient that has aired more than one thousand times over a two-month period on TV and radio stations in leading markets, such as New York, Chicago, and Boston. SCAI also disseminated an audio news release that aired Oct. 29–Nov. 2. It was picked up by radio stations across the country, including stations in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta, reaching more than 11 million listeners.
Original coverage appeared in Medpage Today and TCTMD that included survey results as well as SCAI’s consensus paper on quality of life following angioplasty and stenting by lead author James Blankenship, M.D., FSCAI, that was e-published simultaneously to the survey results.
In addition, SCAI’s social media channels were alive with quality of life news. Through Twitter alone, SCAI reached an additional 18,628 followers, even garnering a retweet by Everyday Health, a leading provider of online health information.
To visually communicate the survey results in a compelling and easy-to-understand way, SCAI developed an infographic that was featured on TCTMD and distributed via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.The infographic also serves as an educational tool for heart disease patients and families and can be downloaded online from www.SCAI.org.
The momentum continues to build as SCAI will keep the quality of life initiative going into the coming year, using it as a foundational piece for 2013 activities. Patient engagement will play a large role in upcoming efforts , and SCAI will continue to leverage the voice of the patient by encouraging patients to share their own personal success stories that showcase the value of their life-saving care.
To view just one example of the SMT interviews, log on to bit.ly/VCu556. In this clip, Mr. Lawrence and I are interviewed by WCMH-TV, the NCB affiliate in Columbus, OH.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this and other SCAI initiatives. Email me at president@SCAI.org.
The “Living Life to Your Heart’s Content: Patients Speak” patient perception and experience survey was developed with support from Abbott Vascular, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. The Society gratefully acknowledges this support while taking sole responsibility for all content developed and disseminated through this effort.