A Solid Foundation Supports Phlebology's Future

It's been said that the taller the building, the deeper and more solid its foundation.

The same may be said about the specialty of vein care. Over the past few years, research and education have propelled vein care to lofty new heights, setting baseline data for comprehensive research studies, developing standards of care and increasing public awareness of vein disorders. It has all rested on the solidity of the American College of Phlebology Foundation (ACPF).

The ACPF's mission has always focused on the advancement of vein care through research and education. Through its support of three recent, mission-specific projects, the AC PF has been the foundation of significant advancements in the industry that promise to have lasting effects on patient outcomes.

Capturing Baseline Data

The first of these is a joint study research project with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American College of Phlebology (ACP), led by Dr. J.J. Guex (Nice, France). The study focuses on establishing new global baseline data for diagnosed and undiagnosed venous disease patients. The data will inform and define the burden of a venous disease on the patient, the patient?s employer, healthcare providers and the community in which the patient lives. In addition to providing information that will be useful to North American physicians in benchmarking the impact of venous disease against global analytics, the study also aims to assist in our understanding of undiagnosed venous disease and its associated costs.

Led by Drs. Willy Chi (U.C. Davis, Davis, CA) and Marlin Schul (Lafayette Regional Vein Center, Lafayette, IN), with support from the ACP, the project departs from the traditional registry. Rather, it is a practical research tool based on data from the electronic medical record (EMR) system, thus serving as a one-stop, comprehensive resource for information about research, treatments in venous disease, patient care and patient feedback. Because it will draw its data from the EMR , no additional investment of time by physicians or their staff is necessary in maintaining the database; it makes use of an established data protocol already being adopted by the industry, while providing a single source for physicians to explore patient treatment records as well as new developments within the area of vein care.

The data collected through this method will better aid in quantifying patient feedback and allow interested organizations, such as the American Board of Phlebology (ABPh), American College of Phlebology (ACP), American Venous Forum (AVF) and World Health Organization (WHO), to begin analyzing the impact of professional standards of practice on patient care.

Spreading the Word About Vein Care

While research will advance the level of treatment, innovations have little impact if patients don't understand they are at risk. Public awareness of venous issues is an important component in the progress of treatment.

In order to reach a broad audience, the ACPF funded a documentary produced by the ACP for PBS public television. The special was an outgrowth of an overwhelmingly popular call-in show that aired in Phoenix, AZ , entitled ?Ask a Vein Care Expert.

The response to that show was amazing, noted producer Richard Taylor. There were so many callers; we took questions for almost two hours during and after the half-hour show.

After the success of the Ask a Vein Care Expert, PBS approached the ACP to produce a more comprehensive public awareness documentary about phlebology and vein health. Hosted by respected physician Helane Fronek, Vein Health: Discoveries, New Technologies & Breakthroughs walks viewers through the history, future and diagnosis of, and treatment options for a wide spectrum of both deep and superficial venous issues. The special aired in March 2012 on KAET -TV in Phoenix, and is slated to roll out to other markets across the country in the coming months.

Building Toward the Future

In its ongoing efforts to advance the specialty, ACPF has its sights set on its next initiative, The Executive Leadership Summit on Phlebology.

This invitation-only event for ACPF financial supporters is intended to bring together stakeholders in the specialty of phlebology to discuss a published set of issues currently considered by program organizers as obstacles to the advancement of the specialty of phlebology. From this event, in open discussion and debate, investors in the specialty will be able to issue a consensus white paper, dealing with a number of issues, to the phlebology community.

The intent of The Executive Leadership Summit was to establish public positions on the agenda topics and analyze where work is needed or solutions are possible for future advancement in phlebology.

These initiatives and others are only made possible through the collective support of medical professionals and corporate investors in the American College of Phlebology Foundation. A donation to ACPF today builds a stronger tomorrow for the specialty of phlebology.