In an effort to ensure safety and optimal care following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) announced the development of guidance to help hospitals and physicians determine the appropriate length of stay following the procedure. An SCAI committee of leading interventional cardiologists will spearhead the new expert consensus document with the goal of ensuring optimal care following the nearly one million PCI procedures that are performed each year in the United States. SCAI expects to release the guidance later this year.
In most hospitals, standard PCI care involves an overnight hospital stay for observation and monitoring. Increasingly, insurers are pressing hospitals to perform PCI on an outpatient basis. PCI is considered an outpatient procedure if the patient is not admitted. Although PCI outcomes and technologies have advanced and made the procedure safer, some patients who have more complicated procedures, are older, or have conditions such as diabetes, anemia, or other health concerns may need to be more closely observed following their procedure. For this reason, SCAI is developing these guidelines to help ensure each patient receives the best care for their individual condition.
"We know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to medicine, and this is certainly true for outpatient PCI," said Bonnie H. Weiner, MD, FSCAI, SCAI immediate past president. "This new guidance document will help both physicians and hospitals ensure those patients who need additional care and observation are not sent home too soon."
Additionally, some patients who return home may not have access to appropriate emergency medical care in the case of a complication, and they would benefit from staying closer to specialized care, Dr. Weiner said.
"We want to ensure each patient has every opportunity to have the best possible outcome from their procedure," said Ziyad M. Hijazi, MD, FSCAI, SCAI president. "Our goal in developing this guidance is to equip caregivers and hospitals with an expert consensus on how to provide optimal care following PCI."