Category Archives: Uncategorized

Advanced Nuclear Stress Testing

Cardiovascular Institute has invested in new camera technology that makes nuclear stress testing to identify potential coronary heart blockages much more comfortable and quicker for patients.  The new nuclear camera is the only one of its kind in the area and images can be obtained in less than half the time of more conventional cameras. The new camera is affixed to a chair allowing patients to sit-up or recline during their test, whichever is more comfortable, and is more accommodating for larger patients. In addition, patients are exposed to significantly less radiation.  The diagnostic images produced by the new camera technology are much more clear and have significantly reduced the number of false positives which result in patients requiring additional procedures such as a cardiac catheterization in order to identify the potential heart problem.  If your doctor has ordered a nuclear stress test for you, cardiologist Dr. Michael Morrow explains in this video what to expect and the advantages this new technology offers for cardiology patients over what is available elsewhere in the Panama City, Florida area.

Important COVID-19 Notice Before Your Next Appointment

Preventing the spread of Coronavirus has required many changes for local businesses and Cardiovascular Institute is no exception. Our goal is to continue to see our patients as scheduled, however we have a few new protocols we must follow to keep our patients and staff as healthy as possible.

First, if you are sick or have been exposed to a person with flu like symptoms within the last two weeks, please stay home and reschedule your visit.  If you have have traveled from areas that are experiencing an outbreak within the last two weeks, please reschedule your visit and self quarantine per CDC guidelines. If you have a smart phone or a computer with a web cam and microphone, you may be eligible to simply change your appointment to a video visit.  Ask our receptionist about TeleVisits.

When visiting our office for an appointment or test, masks are required to protect the health of our patients and staff. Please practice social distancing from other patients and ask any guests that are with you to wait in the car so there is plenty of room for other patients. We will be screening patients at the door and taking temperatures. We will not be able to allow guests in the exam room with you except for truly exceptional circumstances.  Don’t forget to cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, upper arm or a tissue.  Avoid touching your face if possible and wash your hands with soap often.

Our staff will frequently sanitize office surfaces and work diligently to maintain a clean, healthy space for your cardiovascular care. Please help us help you by respecting the current CDC guidelines to prevent spreading contagious illness.

Now Offering Video Visits Through Your Smart Phone or Laptop

UPDATE:  Patients who will be accessing their TeleVisit from a smart phone will receive a text a half an hour before their appointment with a link.  Simply click on the link to access your appointment!  Easy!

 

Established patients with Cardiovascular Institute can now request video appointments in lieu of in-office visits during this time of social distancing to prevent spreading illness.  All you need is an email address and a smart phone, tablet, or a laptop/computer with a web camera and microphone and you can visit your cardiologist from the comforts of home.

Step 1:   To schedule your “TeleVisit” or to change an already scheduled appointment to a TeleVisit, please call our office at (850)769-0329.  If you do not already have an email on file with us, you will need to provide one in order to have your account web enabled.

Step 2:  You will receive an email with instructions on how to access our patient portal and information about the Healow app for your smart phone.   If your account was already web enabled, simply download the Healow app from your phone’s app store or log in from your computer at https://health.healow.com/CVINWF    Your user name is the email you provided.  Set up your account or if you’ve logged in previously and do not remember your password, click on “forgot password” to request a password reset to be sent to your email.

Step 3: When it’s time for your appointment, log-in to the app on your phone or to the website from your computer and click “Start TeleVisit”.  If you have a home blood pressure monitor, please take your BP readings prior to your visit, you will be able to enter your numbers or any other vital signs such as temperature.  Keep in mind that just like any other appointment, there are patients being seen both in office and on screen ahead of you that may cause a delay.  However your provider will receive notifications  that you are ready for your appointment and will join you on your screen as soon as possible.

Need more details?  Never fear.  Below are detailed  instructions on exactly how to set up your account through the Healow app or through the website and how to activate your visit.  We’re excited to launch this new tool to help our patients.  We know that it’s new to you and it is new to us too, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we begin offering this new service.

 

PATIENT PORTAL ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS & TELEVISIT APPOINTMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Below are instructions for accessing the patient portal on your computer and also instructions for accessing it on your phone.  Please keep in mind these are first time set up instructions and all of these steps will not have to be performed each time, only for the initial set up.

Iphone or Android Access:

  1. You will need to download the Healow app from the app store on your smartphone.
  2. Once the app is downloaded you will need to log in with your user name and password. The username will be the email address.
  3. If you do not know you password, select “forgot password” and a link will be sent to the email address on file for you to reset this.
  4. Once you have successfully logged in, you will select “Find My Doctor”. It will give you the option to search by physician or practice.  Please select search by practice and put in Cardiovascular Institute and also Panama City for the city.
  5. Select Cardiovascular Institute at the top.
  6. You will have to agree to the terms and agreements.
  7. You will also have to allow microphone and camera access for TeleVisit appointments.
  8. It will ask you to verify your cell phone number so that it can send you a verification code.
  9. Once you have completed all of this (which is a one time set up), you should be at the dashboard. Once you are at the dashboard for the Healow app, you will see a wheel with options.  The appointment option will be at the top.  To see your appointments that you have, select appointment.
  10. Select the appropriate TeleVisit appointment and then select “Start TeleVisit” at the bottom.
  11. It will ask you for your vitals next so if you were able to check those at home, please enter them here. Once you are done select “submit vitals”.
  12. Next select “Start TeleVisit”. This will let the provider know that you are signed in, vitals entered and that you are ready for your visit.

 

Computer access for patient portal:  If your computer is equipped with a microphone and a camera, you may use a computer to access the patient portal for your TeleVisit:

 

  1. Use the following link to access our patient portal: https://health.healow.com/CVINWF
  2. Use your email address for the log in name and then enter your password.
  3. If you cannot log in, you can click on “trouble logging in” and it will give you options if you have forgotten your user name or password.
  4. Once you are logged in, you will be at the dashboard and be able to see your TeleVisit appointments.
  5. Select “Join TeleVisit”
  6. Accept user agreement
  7. Download the plug-in
  8. Click on Run
  9. Click on the refresh browser button
  10. It will run a compatibility test to make sure it detects your camera and microphone
  11. It will give you the option to enter your vital signs.
  12. You will now be able to click on “Start TeleVisit” and it will let the provider know you are signed in and ready.

New Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation Now Available at Bay Med

Dr. Nghia Hoang is offering a new treatment method for atrial fibrillation – cryoablation.  This minimally invasive method uses extreme cold to create a frostbite scar in the area of the heart that is generating the abnormal heart rhythm.  This frostbite scar blocks the abnormal electrical signals and keeps the heart in normal rhythm. Research has shown cryoablation to have improved outcomes over traditional radiofrequency ablation techniques in treating atrial fibrillation.  Take a look at this story form WMBB News 13:  New Technology Available at Bay Medical Center

CVI Welcomes Dr. Nghia Hoang, Electrophysiologist

Nghia HoangCardiovascular Institute is pleased to announce that cardiac electrophysiologist, Dr. Nghia Hoang, has joined our practice. Dr. Hoang is certified by the American Board of Osteopathic Internal Medicine in Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and is a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist with the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners. Dr. Hoang received his D.O. at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA and his Cardiovascular Fellowship at Deborah Heart & Lung Center in New Jersey. He completed his electrophysiology training at Drexel University College of Medicine as Chief Electrophysiology Fellow in 2012.

Dr. Hoang comes to us from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania where he also served as Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of South Florida at the Pennsylvania branch campus of their medical school. Dr. Hoang brings a wealth of experience in cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmia and the latest in cardiac rhythm device technology. In addition, he received 5-star ratings from his many patients in Pennsylvania. Dr. Hoang enjoys spending any free time with his wife and two children and the whole family is looking forward to warmer winters, the coastal lifestyle, and getting to know their new community.

Heart Attack & Cardiac Arrest – What’s the difference?

Dr. Joe Trantham of Cardiovascular Institute spoke with WMBB News 13 during Heart Month (February) about how some use heart attack and cardiac arrest interchangeably when they are actually two very different conditions.  However in both cases, you should call 911 immediately.  To learn the difference, and the symptoms, take a look at this report from Panama City, Florida’s ABC affiliate WMBB:  http://www.mypanhandle.com/news/cardiac-arrest-vs-heart-attack-the-important-difference/974318831

Local Woman Shares Her Heart Attack Survival Story

Leslie Kolovich never imagined she could be at risk for a major heart attack.  She was just 52, a non-smoker, lived an active lifestyle and had a healthy diet.  She dismissed some of the warning signs as “just getting older” and “stress”.  Watch as Leslie shares her story of how she nearly died and what she has learned since.

Is leg pain a sign of vascular disease?

In our latest “Ask a Cardiologist” video, interventional cardiologist Dr. Amir Haghighat addresses the signs and symptoms of vascular disease in the legs and how a diagnosis is made.  Common symptoms include cramping when walking that goes away with rest, swelling of the ankles and feet, and discoloration, however Dr. Haghighat explains the types of leg pain and other symptoms in greater detail in our video.  Vascular ultrasound can identify blockages and reflux.  The Cardiovascular Institute in Panama City, Florida offers a nationally accredited vascular lab and minimally invasive treatments for the most common issues.

 

How are cardiologists involved in treating stroke?

Our latest Ask a Cardiologist video featuring Dr. Samir N. Patel covers why a stroke, or a brain attack, is definitely something you should see your cardiologist about.  A common underlying cause of stroke is vascular disease. An ischemic stroke occurs when a piece of thrombus or plaque that has been dislodged travels into the arteries in the brain causing a blockage. Plaque build-up in the carotid artery is often a culprit as is atrial fibrillation.  Fortunately, cardiologists at Cardiovascular Institute also offer interventional treatment for stroke prevention such as a stent placement procedure to open up a clogged carotid artery.