10 Reasons Not to Miss Cleveland Clinic at DDW

A snapshot of topics important to your GI practice

Our staff will present nearly 50 different topics at Digestive Disease Week this year. Here’s a snapshot:

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  1. Breath tests to identify diseases. Amit Bhatt, MD, and Sunguk Jang, MD, will describe how they use these tests to detect conditions, including Barrett’s esophagus and pancreatic cancer.
  2. New advanced fibrosis test. Breath tests are also the focus of a study by Ibrahim Hanouneh, MD, and Naim Alkhouri, MD. It shows that isoprene detected in the exhaled breath through mass spectroscopy is a novel biomarker for identifying advanced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.
  3. Detecting precancerous polyps. Madhu Sanaka, MD, will present his findings on new endoscopic technologies.
  4. Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). Drs. Bhatt and Jang also will present a pilot study, in conjunction with Japanese experts, which demonstrates that distance learning can play an important role in teaching new skill sets.
  5. Is bacteria to blame? Bo Shen, MD, will discuss his study on small intestine bacteria overgrowth increasing the risk of coronary artery disease.
  6. Acute pancreatitis. Dr. Sanaka presents research analyzing national trends on the inpatient burden of the disease.
  7. An innovative GERD treatment. Scott Gabbard, MD, presents the use of a sleep positioning device to decrease nocturnal GERD symptoms.
  8. Colorectal cancer screening. Carol Burke, MD, offers her professional and clinical pearls regarding gender disparities in screenings.
  9. EUS-guided biliary drainage after failed ERCP. Prabhleen Chahal, MD, presents a meta-analysis or technical success and adverse events.
  10. Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis. Dr. Burke discusses when to suspect and how to test in 2015.

2015 DDW Trend Watch:

This year’s conference also is expected to reveal several key trends of importance to your GI practice. We asked John Vargo, MD, MPH, Chair of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Cleveland Clinic, for what he’ll be tuned in to learn more about later this month. Here’s what he had to say:

Improving colon cancer outcomes

One of the hottest topics on the agenda, Dr. Vargo says, is optimizing the performance of colonoscopy quality and adenoma detection.

“The data has shown us that identifying and removing precancerous polyps directly influences colon cancer mortality,” he says. “It’s incumbent on any practitioner to ensure their technique, patient preparation and technology are optimized to detect and remove precancerous polyps.”

Therapy for hepatitis C

Another area of high interest this year, Dr. Vargo says, is the renaissance of therapy for hepatitis C, with effective treatments leading to high cure rates.

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“At this point, we have multiple medications available,” he notes. “The key issues for us going forward are how we determine which regimen is optimal for patients in terms of response, as well as the societal burden of cost.”

Standardizing endoscopy

“Using a standardized approach to the evaluation of our fellows’ endoscopic skills across the country is a necessity to ensure that we provide the best care for our patients,” Dr. Vargo says.

A different set of challenges is present for established clinicians, who as a group possess varying skill sets and use different procedures in detection and treatment. For them, incremental advances to a well-established skill set may take little training, he says, or it could require they learn new, complex procedures, such as endoscopic submucosal dissection.

“This has a very steep learning curve and the clinician needs an immersive training environment, given the complicated nature of the procedure,” Dr. Vargo explains. “So the challenge is how do we embark on teaching established practitioners a new procedure, and how do we determine standards and outcomes.”

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Talking transparency

Clinicians also now find themselves in an era of unprecedented transparency. They are paid on population basis and the quality of their procedures.

Says Dr. Vargo: “We all need to have the same quality metrics. They provide important benchmarks for third-quality payors, determine performance within a group, and consumers will ultimately benefit because they will be doing comparative shopping.”

Visit us at Booth #3227 to meet our staff and learn more about our program. Follow Dr. Vargo on Twitter @JohnVargoMD and live-tweet #DDW15 with Cleveland Clinic physicians.