State of the Heart
New Program Offers Groundbreaking Approach to Peripheral Arterial Disease

IHVI leadership

Inova Heart and Vascular Institute Program Leadership
Back row (L-R): John Edwards, MD, Vascular Surgery, Inova Heart & Vascular Institute (IHVI); Bryan Raybuck, MD, Medical Director, Cath Lab, Inova Fairfax Hospital (IFH)/IHVI; Dipankar Mukherjee, MD, Chairman, Vascular Surgery Section, IFH/IHVI; Allen Joseph, MD, Medical Director, Vascular Services, Inova Loudoun Hospital/IHVI; Homayoun Hashemi, MD, Vascular Surgery, IHVI. Front row (L-R): Harvey Sherber, MD, Medical Director, IHVI; Patricia Knowles, Administrator, IHVI, VP, Inova Health System; Hamid Taheri, MD, Interventional Cardiology, IHVI. Not pictured: Keith Sterling, MD, Medical Director, Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, Inova Alexandria Hospital/Inova Mount Vernon Hospital (IMVH)/IHVI; Richard Neville, MD, Vascular Surgery, IMVH/IHVI; David Spinosa, MD, Medical Director, The Vascular Program, IHVI.

The Vascular Program located within Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI) takes a pioneering approach to the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. This new program unites the disease's three primary specialists — cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons — into one program that encompasses the entire Inova hospital network. By creating an environment that fosters collaboration and cooperation across all three specialties, patients receive a higher standard of care and system-wide access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

One Program Three Goals

The Vascular Program will be officially introduced in January 2012 and will be built around three overarching goals.

  1. A patient-first approach: "The Vascular Program creates a unique opportunity to integrate three specialties that all treat peripheral arterial disease," says Patricia Knowles, BSN, RN, MS, CNOR, Administrator, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, and Vice President, Inova Health System. "No matter who's treating you, that specialist has access to the best evidence-based practices in interventional radiology, vascular surgery and interventional cardiology. The patient is at the center, and the right specialist brings the best treatment to the patient."

    This circumvents the traditional manner by which patients with vascular disease have been treated. It is a manner Knowles describes as time-consuming and stressful. "The process usually begins with the primary care physician referring you to a specialist — let's say an interventional radiologist," she says. "If this isn't right, the patient goes back to the primary care physician for a second referral, maybe a vascular surgeon. But this puts the focus on the treatment rather than the patient."

  2. A single, high standard of care: Integral to a patient-first approach is a unified standard of care across Inova's five-hospital system, emanating from the program's administrative headquarters at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute on the Inova Fairfax Hospital campus. In this way, Dr. Spinosa stresses, "It doesn't matter which hospital you go to or which doctor you see; every patient receives the same level of care."

  3. Streamlined care: The final goal was to create a unified consensus as to the most effective therapies available for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. To accomplish this, says Dr. Spinosa, the program's team collaboratively evaluates emerging technologies, medications and procedures and builds a sort of report card for each innovation.

    "We can see the best of the best across all specialties," he says. "That streamlines the treatments we commit to and gets patients the care they need in the quickest, most reasonable way possible."

David Spinosa, MD, interventional radiologist, and Bryan Raybuck, MD, interventional cardiologist, will present a lecture, "Peripheral Vascular Disease: 'Let's Talk,'" at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Va. Call 1-855-My-Inova (1-855-694-6682) or register here for this FREE lecture.

David Spinosa, MD Bryan Raybuck, MD
David Spinosa, MD Bryan Raybuck, MD

Expanding the Circle
The collaborative spirit that drives The
Vascular Program spurs a broader view
of peripheral arterial disease that
welcomes participation from many clinical
areas, including diabetes, wound care
and obesity. "The medical community is
more knowledgeable about peripheral
arterial disease today, so we're able to
diagnose and treat the disease at an
earlier stage," says Dr. Spinosa. "That
means we often have time to treat the
underlying medical issues, such as
hypertension, diabetes mellitus and high
cholesterol, to improve a patient's overall
vascular health before that patient even
becomes symptomatic from arterial
disease. Hopefully, we will prevent
recurrence of symptoms in those
patients who do get treated. To do this,
we tap into the Inova system and figure
out how to best use all of our available
resources for the patient's well-being."

Broadening the patient's information circle to include screenings and preventive healthcare is an area that Dr. Spinosa hopes to grow in the future. "This program gives us the power of the entire five-hospital system," he notes. "The timing is right for both patients and physicians, given Inova's plans to switch entirely to electronic medical records in late 2012, putting patients' medical information from anywhere in the Inova system instantly at the fingertips of physicians. It's an amazing opportunity to take the treatment of peripheral arterial disease to an unprecedented new level of care."

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Setting the Bar

As a program within Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, The Vascular Program has a strong foundation of success to build on, says Dr. David Spinosa. "Like the Institute, we want to be recognized as a center of excellence in our community, our region and nationally for excellent patient care and medical education research. Those are our goals."

Inova Heart and Vascular Institute's most recent national awards include:

  • The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for Congestive Heart Failure, Acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) and Left Ventricular Assisted Devices (VAD) for Heart Failure
  • 3-star designation from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Beacon Award for Excellence™ from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • Silver Award for successful outcomes from ACTION Registry®

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