As someone who specializes in pediatric cardiology, what do you consider to be the biggest challenges in your discipline today?
We have made remarkable progress in treating pediatric and congenital heart disease to the point that there are now more adults living with these conditions than children. This requires us to measure and impact outcomes beyond those in the short-term from surgery and critical illness such as mortality, and focus on metrics related to cognition, quality of life, and function in the work force. As yet we do not understand how our care in the hospital impacts these long-term outcomes, and this is our challenge if we hope to change the way we care for our patients in hope of improving their lives. Finally, we need to better harness the data we collect on our patients, particularly in the ICU, and convert that data into actionable information to be used at the bedside.
Your current research looks at improving cardiac surgery centers. What changes would you like to see in the near future?
I would love to see payers (public and private) mandate participation by hospitals in collaborative quality improvement, and to tie incentives to improving outcomes. I would also support creation and expansion of networks consisting of large and small programs working together to regionalize complex care and sustain quality at smaller hospitals.
How has MCIRCC played a role in your research?
MCIRCC has created a network of potential collaborators to explore some of the data science projects we hope to undertake within cardiac critical care. We hope to successfully compete for grant funding in partnership with these MCIRCC experts.
College football season is in full swing! Do you participate in any of the fall festivities? Perhaps a favorite game day snack?
I do love college football and we plan to tailgate several times this year (when I'm not on call in the ICU...). You can't beat smoked pork for game day victuals.