Clinical Studies Improve Quality Outcomes for Heart Patients
Research is an essential component of the cardiovascular care delivered by CHI Health. As the Academic Health System grows through the relationship between Creighton University and CHI Health, there is a continual focus on understanding cardiovascular disease, testing new treatments and improving quality outcomes.
Each academic year, 16 physicians complete specialty or subspecialty training in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. Training new professionals in cardiovascular diseases brings excitement and energy to research. Currently, there are 33 projects being conducted by these investigators:
- Each physician in the fellowship program is required to design, implement and present a research project during training. They each identify a faculty mentor and determine a clinical question that interests them and will benefit CHI Health cardiovascular patients.
- One prospective project seeks to determine the antiplatelet effect of aspirin on patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are receiving continuous positive-airway pressure.
- A retrospective project using CHI Health patient data involves analyzing right ventricular function and change in kidney function in patients who are hospitalized with acute heart failure. Information from these projects will help create new models of care for our patients and provide pilot data to create larger trials.
In addition to investigator-initiated studies, CHI Health Cardiovascular Services works with industry partners to bring pharmaceutical and device trials to our region. Currently, more than 40 trials are being performed in the market.
These investigations are successful because of the cardiovascular leadership at CHI Health Nebraska Heart, the Nebraska Heart Institute and CHI Health Clinic. Our strong regional presence and history of successful enrollment in trials allows CHI Health to be sought for important cardiovascular trials, such as the PARTNER (Placement of AoRtic TraNscathetER Valve) trials.
CHI Health Nebraska Heart is now participating in the PARTNER III trial (enrolling 1,200 patients, ages 65+, with a Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk score of less than 4 percent at 50 U.S. sites). The trial studies transcatheter aortic-valve replacement (TAVR) vs. open surgical replacement in low surgical-risk patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. If data shows that TAVR provides results comparable to surgical aortic-valve replacement (SAVR) in this group, it could mean most low surgical-risk patients will opt for the less invasive approach (no surgical incision, less pain, a shorter or no ICU stay, and faster return to normal activity).
Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States. However, ongoing research and programs at CHI Health will spur on advances that enhance the health and well-being of patients in the communities we serve.