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The Baseline

Cardiomark, LLC Newsletter

Vol. 7    December 2, 2009

Did You Know:

With February 2010 fast approaching, your organization is probably gearing up for Heart Month. In honor of the occasion, we encourage you to consider adding a 12-Lead resting EKG test and Pocket EKG Card to your community cardiac screenings.
Compared to many of the various cardiac tests available, an EKG test requires little overhead in terms of both direct cost and staff, yet when interpreted by a cardiologist, can uncover undetected heart rhythm irregularities that need to be addressed. Although an EKG is not a fully diagnostic test, it is an important preliminary step in recognizing at risk heart disease patients and connecting them to the treatment they need. Through the Pocket EKG Program you can easily and successfully provide this important test to your community members.  
Contact us:

Cardiomark LLC
P.O. Box 929
San Luis Obispo, CA
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Why Should Cardiac Screenings Include an EKG?
The typical cardiac screening includes baseline numbers such as cholesterol, blood pressure and resting heart rate. A way to improve upon such screenings and differentiate your organization's cardiac outreach programs from competitors is to include a baseline EKG, EKG interpretation assessment, and Pocket EKG Card among the battery of tests offered. This is where the Pocket EKG Program fits into a cardiac screening; it promotes your screenings while complimenting and improving their impact, providing a marketing tool to the hospital that includes clinical value for patients. As Doctor William Nyitray, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Central Cardiology Medical Clinic in Bakersfield, California finds:
"The focus of the Pocket EKG Program is to promote early detection and optimal treatment of patients with heart disease."
EKG Assessment & Early Detection
A baseline EKG along with an EKG interpretation assessment can promote early detection of heart disease. When your organization orders a Pocket EKG Card for a patient or screening participant, the individual is mailed the card along with a letter reporting whether a physician affiliated with your organization found their EKG result to be normal, minor abnormal or abnormal.  It is recommended that those with an abnormal or minor abnormal EKG result seek further analysis. Resultant follow-up testing can identify necessary, even life saving medical treatment while bringing new patients to the hospital.
For example, a 72 year woman received a Healthy Heart Exam at Providence Everett Medical Center. Along wither her Pocket EKG Card, she received the result of her EKG, which was abnormal. After following up with her physician, she was referred to a cardiologist in the Providence system, who referred her to a cardiovascular surgeon in the same system, which resulted in cardiovascular surgery that included five-bypasses as well as repairs of her mitral valve and a congenital hole that was discovered between the two upper chambers of her heart. Of these events, the patient says:
"Fortunately, I didn't have a heart attack. It might have progressed, but I found out about its possibility before it could occur."
This series of life-saving events, and ROI accrual to the health system, was all put into motion thanks to the Heart Healthy Exam that included the Pocket EKG Program.
EKG as a Baseline for Comparison
In the event that the EKG interpretation results in no identification of increased risk factor for heart disease, through the Pocket EKG Card, an individual still gains a powerful health care tool. He or she now has a baseline of their EKG to carry with them at all times; for those presenting with an abnormal EKG, this is an especially valuable piece of information as a cardiologist comparing this to further baseline EKG's taken at a later date can identify that this is a normal reading for the patient and not a cause for alarm, avoiding unnecessary testing and facilitating rapid diagnosis. Likewise for those presenting EKG's with no abnormalities, if a situation arises where an EKG needs to be taken for the patient, this baseline is a point of comparison to help identify what has occurred, again, promoting proper and efficient treatment. In summation:
 "The resting ECG (EKG) and wallet card are like a photograph: the subject of the photo may never change, but if it does, you have a comparison." 
Greg Lawson, MS, Program Specialist, Heart Life Services, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett
"There are people who are born with 'abnormal' ecgs that are perfectly healthy, there are patients with 'normal' ecgs that die suddenly, the forst words out of ANY electrocardiographer should be 'let me see a prior ecg for comparison.'"
Paul Matera, MD, FAEP, FAAIM, EMTP, Clinical Associate Professor-George Washington University, DC; Director Emeritus-Critical Care Units, Providence Hospital
Pocket EKG in Action 
Please click here to see a video clip of Pocket EKG in action. 
pocket ekg
Please let us know if you have any questions about our Pocket EKG or Pocket Angiogram programs at inquire@cardiomarkllc.com, and please visit our website at www.cardiomarkllc.com.

Lori Keledjian
Cardiomark, LLC