As academic cardiologists with significant involvement in heart research and teaching, we are committed to early adoption of the latest research findings, medical technology, diagnostic techniques and treatments into clinical practice in order to give the highest quality care to our patients with heart disease and their families.
Our workplace culture has been fostered to integrate innovation with an emphasis on collaboration, ongoing training for all staff including technical and administrative staff, and recognition of the integral contribution by every staff member in delivering excellence in heart care.
All our cardiologists are actively involved in teaching in our consulting rooms and at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Strathfield Private Hospital and The Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and as such are abreast of, and at the cutting edge of advances in cardiology. It is clear that as the sophistication and complexity of care given out of the hospital environment increase, we will do more of the training of medical, nursing and technical staff in consulting rooms.
Regular and substantial IT innovation allows the practice to realise the potential of rapid advances in medical technology and best practice IT ensures this can be translated into the very best service possible for patients.
Our IT infrastructure is sophisticated and includes virtualised desktops, servers, as well as cloud-based backup via high speed broadband. Our cardiologists connect to their patient information systems remotely using tablet computers (iPad) when out of the office after hours or on hospital ward rounds, giving them access to test results and other information wherever and whenever required.
Cardiac ultrasound is the most important non-invasive diagnostic test in the clinical cardiology setting because of what it tells us about the heart’s structure and function, painlessly and safely. The technology is rapidly becoming more sophisticated, enabling us to see the heart in more detail, allowing us to assess the nature and extent of heart problems much more accurately.
Innovations include the ability to make images of 3 different views of the heart simultaneously, and a 3D ultrasound system which allows us to literally walk through the heart. New software enables us to measure the heart’s structure and function much more accurately than previously possible and track changes with treatment over time.
The practice makes major recurrent investments in upgrading ultrasound equipment in order to use the very latest technology available. We were early adopters of digital ultrasound imaging in 1999 and the first private practice in Australia to install a PACS system (GE, ImageVault) in 2006 which allows us to store and retrieve archived ultrasound examinations and compare the findings side by side.
In 2010 we added a GE Vivid E9 ultrasound system to add to our cardiac ultrasound service. We brought multiplane stress echo imaging into stress echo studies which allow us to take up to 3 pictures simultaneously resulting in faster and more accurate studies. We have introduced 3-D cardiac ultrasound to look at heart valve defects, cardiac muscle structure and function in greater detail than previously possible.
We are based in the inner city but many of our patients live some distance from our consulting rooms. One of our programs seeks to find new ways to deliver care to our less mobile patients in the city and those patients in rural and remote locations.
In 2010 we started a program to monitor pacemakers and defibrillators from our patients’ homes to supplement visits made to clinics for routine and urgent device checks. We now have one of the largest programs of its type in Australia. The information these devices collect improve the quality of care and reduce the number of visits required. Modern defibrillators need even more sophisticated monitoring and having access to the information they collect helps us identify those at risk of inappropriate shocks and worsening heart failure.
We are exploring the role that telemedicine consultations may play into the future especially for our patients who live remotely.