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Experiencing the evolution towards cardiovascular imaging multimodality in Madrid

Interview with Prof. Jose Luis Zamorano, Head of Cardiology - University Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid

Prof. Jose Luis Zamorano, Head of Cardiology -
University Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid

"...willing to work together, in an efficient way and willing to grow together for a better patient care."
Non-invasive Imaging: Echocardiography

Professor Zamorano, how long has the integrated imaging modality facility been in operations?

We are working in close cooperation with all people involved in Cardiac Imaging since I started in my new Hospital 18 months ago. It is a matter of putting personal interest aside and just think in what is best for the patient. In my opinion the key issue is the knowledge and the will to work as a team. This is much more efficient.

What were the major challenges in getting there?

The major problem could be a matter of jealousy between professionals, but in my view, if this happens this is just that you are not confident of your own knowledge.
I was very lucky to meet Dr Javier Blazquez, interventional Radiologist, main interest in atherosclerosis and chief of Radiology. From the first day he was willing to work together, in an efficient way and willing to grow together for a better patient care. But not only in non invasive cardiac imaging, under the initiative of the General Manager of the Hospital we are working in a creation of an "Atheroma area" with 5 cath labs that will cover every single disease where atherosclerosis is involved not only in the heart. This means that we will share resources and professinals, cardiologist, radiologist, nurses... No doubt much more efficient.

What are the most significant improvements for patient care since moving to this approach?

As said, everything is translated in better care and for sure more efficiency.

What advice would you give to other hospitals/clinics who are planning to make a similar imaging revolution?

Well, I will not call it revolution, much better evolution. Nowadays cost contention, optimization of resources and patient care in an excellent way is key for each hospital. So, talk to your peers, decide what is best for your patients in your own environment is the first thing to do.
Avoid personalism and just think that growing together is much better that growing alone. 

Any other important information to note?

No doubt knowledge is crucial. For this, education is key. EACVI should provide this education to all, not only cardiologists, but to all people interested in CV Imaging. EACVI has the enormous power of having super experts , willing to share their knowledge , in all modalities.  Cardiac imaging is really fascinating ! 

Are there any support networks/systems in place for institutions/leaders wishing to move towards an integrated modality approach?

Technology is going so fast! All companies are thinking in integration. We are moving fast from the silo based approach towards a globalisation of information. For sure many hospitals have already all the information from each patient digitalised. The past was having a digital echo lab, excellent tools to have image storage and nice reports. To me this is simply old fashion. What we need is digital integration of all medical records that will provide the complete picture of the patient regardless where he is inside the department. This is the future. And if can we discuss of integrating different imaging modalities? 

Thank you Prof. Zamorano for sharing your experience and advices!