Celebrate American Heart Month and Cardiology Services week at PAH Thursday, February 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Pine Building Basement.

Stop by for educational posters and materials, blood pressure screenings, free giveaways (including t-shirts – first come, first served!) and to win a FitBit Flex™ wireless activity and sleep wristband to track your health goals. Educational posters will also be on display in the Elm Garden Cafeteria all week long.


Cardiology service care providers are health care practitioners, including registered nurses and registered technologists with credentials, certifications and/or licensure. They collaborate with physicians and other members of the health care team to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care in many settings throughout the hospital. This team identifies, treats, and prevents cardiac and vascular diseases through a wide variety of tests, medications, and procedures. The cardiology services staffs are experts in the delivery of state-of-the-art cardiac care. They are also involved in many performance improvement initiatives, and clinical research that improves patient care.

Cardiology Services consists of six different areas at PAH:

1)    The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory performs a wide variety of interventional cardiovascular procedures. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, as well as elective cardiovascular procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement. Additionally, the scope of practice for the cardiac cath lab has changed over the past several years, and a wide range of procedures that include structural heart disease repair, carotid stenting, abdominal aortic aneurysms and peripheral vascular disease are now being performed. There is also a new hybrid laboratory that allows complex procedures to be performed with a multi-disciplinary team that includes anesthesia, surgical backup, the cath lab team, and external resources such as product vendors and engineers.

2)    Electrophysiology diagnoses and treats patients with arrhythmias and electrical disturbances of the heart’s rhythm. With state-of-the-art equipment, advanced electrograms and invasive techniques, they can diagnose a variety of arrhythmias, which can then be treated in the lab or through special drugs. Electrophysiology uses ablation therapy to treat many significant arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and supraventricular tachycardias. A multi-disciplinary approach that combines physicians, experts from anesthesia, and echocardiography, brings together expertise at mapping the electrical conduction system of the heart. The EP lab also implants pacemakers and implantable defibrillators for arrhythmias and the management of heart failure.

3)    The Heart Station provides a broad range of services to diagnose cardiovascular disease. They perform tilt table tests, electrocardiograms, and perform a support a variety of stress tests that include treadmill, pharmacological, and nuclear studies. These tests are essential for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. In addition, the heart station also assists with transesophogeal echocardiograms (TEE), and cardioversions, which are used to convert patients out of arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and flutter.

4)    Echocardiography is an advanced, ultrasound based technology that diagnoses a wide variety of cardiovascular and cardiac diseases. It is used to evaluate the wall motion of the heart and diagnose heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, structural heart disease, and valvular heart disease. Additionally, echocardiography also collaborates with the EP lab and the cardiac cath lab to treat structural heart disease and perform ablations by identifying critical structures of the heart, and mapping these structures to ensure a safe and effective procedure.

5)    The Prehold/Recovery Room admits and receives outpatients and inpatients for invasive cardiology procedures. This allows patients to be directly admitted to a highly trained nursing team to ensure a seamless transition of care. They evaluate patients, ensure their safety, manage their needs and provide support and resources for their families. Post procedurally, they ensure patient safety by supporting hemostasis and monitoring the patient. They also directly discharge outpatients, which improves time management and increases patient satisfaction and safety. The staff implemented a key patient care initiative this year on 6 Cathcart that has dramatically improved the continuity of patient. The patient satisfaction scores for this area are at 98 percent and this support service is essential for high quality care for our patients. The recovery room ensures that the entire episode of care, from admission to discharge or transfer, is safe, productive and rewarding for the patients, their families, and other hospital staff.

6)    Performance Improvement/Research is also essential for the delivery of cutting-edge patient care. The Cardiology Services department is part of several registries, which allows the labs to compare themselves to national standards and measure how the hospital performs in relationship to its peers. These registries include the CathPCI registry, The ICD registry and the NCDR Analytic and Reporting Services (ARS) registry, which measure evidence-based science in action. Cardiology Services is also becoming increasingly involved in clinical research and professional publications. This year the lab published three peer reviewed articles and is also enrolled in registries for bioabsorbabale stents and carotid stenting. 

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