Using remote learning to improve high-risk PCI outcomes

Members of CAMP PCI’s faculty take questions from physician participants during a virtual training session

As interventional cardiology continues to grow with higher risk patients and more complex coronary, writes Rajan Patel (Ochsner Clinic Foundation, Jefferson, USA), the need for educational resources to support clinicians with advanced techniques becomes ever-greater. He outlines the CAMP PCI learning initiative, which aims to provide educational tools for continuous improvement in contemporary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) techniques.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) remains the number one cause of death in the USA, surpassing all forms of cancer. According to the American Heart Association, CVD accounted for over 800,000 deaths in the USA in 2017. There is a growing need for coronary revascularization. PCI is growing in its importance as the population ages and becomes increasingly complex with multiple comorbidities. Many patients are being deemed surgically ineligible for coronary bypass graft surgery (CABG) due to comorbidities or poor targets.

The need for educational resources to support clinicians with advanced treatment techniques and technologies for high-risk PCI is critical to improving patient outcomes, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need and interest in high-quality remote learning platforms.

The CAMP PCI (Coronary Artery and Myocardial Protected Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) learning collaborative was developed to respond to the growing healthcare burdens of coronary artery disease and heart failure, as well as the need for continuous improvement in contemporary PCI techniques and tools. Launched by Abiomed, a provider of medical devices that provide circulatory support, the collaborative offers a comprehensive physician education and training programme for treating high-risk patients with a primary focus on high-risk PCI and acute myocardial infarction cardiogenic shock (AMICS). Resources include learning modules, password-protected community interaction, “ask the faculty” functionality, live case demonstrations, and virtual proctoring.

Also, CAMP PCI was created to raise awareness of the many high-risk patients that may not be diagnosed with coronary artery disease as the underlying etiology for systolic heart failure or may have been told that they do not have revascularization options with PCI or CABG due to the presence of associated comorbidities or the complexity of their coronary disease. Patients who undergo PCI with optimised lesion preparation, stent optimisation, and complete revascularization have more durable results and better intermediate as well as long-term outcomes.

Of the nearly 1 million PCI procedures performed annually in the USA:

  • Out of the 23% having multivessel or high-risk PCI, 45% have incomplete revascularizations, resulting in less than optimal results and increased costs
  • 7% suffer from acute kidney injury, which can result in increased mortality
  • 8 to 17% are readmitted within 30 days of discharge for cardiovascular issues
  • 300,000 patients do not receive any treatment and have a diminished quality of life
  • Only 1 in 10 patients with coronary artery disease are tested for CAD

Developed by physicians and designed for interventional cardiologists at all levels of clinical experience, CAMP PCI offers continuous learning including digital learning modules, weekly live case presentations and the opportunity to connect and network with the world’s leading experts in the field. CAMP PCI users who complete learning modules benefit by community forums and can receive live case proctoring using the most advanced virtual technology.

CAMP PCI will also offer a suite of educational tools and products focusing on high-risk PCI skills, techniques, best practices and techniques that can be applied by all interventional cardiologists seeking to improve their patient outcomes and treat patients that previously had no options made available to them. Participating members begin with foundational modules, and then advance through essentials, advanced and finally masters modules. The essential modules cover topics including patient identification and clinical outcomes with PCI tools and techniques. The advanced and masters training deal with individual technologies and advanced techniques such as CTO and bifurcation lesion revascularization.

The CAMP PCI online suite allows easy access to the content remotely via laptop or mobile device, with no special technology required. The content is delivered, shared, and discussed in various, password-protected forums including:

  • Online education with CME credits
  • Live case and case presentation libraries
  • Community forums and private messaging
  • Virtual observerships and proctorships
  • National didactic courses and hands-on workshops

Different levels of mastery can be achieved, with recognition of new credentials by the faculty.  Competency checklists are provided to physician graduates for their institutional records to verify their extensive training.  The training will include multi-media platforms, simulators, downloadable handbooks, interactive tools, self-assessments and more.

CAMP PCI is led by a growing community of high-risk PCI operators and advocates. Recognising the immediate need for training and education to be adapted to physician needs in order to improve patient outcomes, the program’s content was designed to address the value of best practices, techniques and integration of new technologies to enable safer, more effective and complete revascularization.

As interventional cardiology continues to grow with higher risk patients and more complex coronary anatomy needing PCI, the CAMP PCI educational platform will provide continuous improvement to practitioners and improve patient outcomes and quality of life.


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