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Two standards in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (which is mostly applicable to for profit corporations), cover non-profit corporations: document destruction and whistle-blower protection. The Heart Rhythm Society's Board of Trustees approved the below Whistle-Blower/Code of Conduct Policy in June 2009.

History

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In 1979, four electrophysiologists recognized the need for a society dedicated to the field cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. Doctors J. Warren Harthorne, Victor Parsonnet, Seymour Furman, and Dryden Morse thus founded the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, or NASPE, in Boston. In 2004, NASPE celebrated its 25th anniversary, moved to Washington, DC and changes its name to Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) to better reflect its membership constituencies and expanded mission. 

 

As an Employer of Choice, The Heart Rhythm Society offers a robust benefit package., We are proud of our benefit offerings and believe they provide a substantial measure of security, protection and flexibility for our staff and their families, both now and in the future.

The Pulse of Accomplishment documents the projects and achievements for Society departments and initiatives, including membership and member services, image and identity, education, health policy, fundraising, and the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE).

Media Staff

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The Heart Rhythm Society is committed to providing media with the most current information about our organization, as well as a wide range of heart rhythm disorder issues.

The Public Relations staff is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET to schedule interviews and provide background information. Call 202-464-3441 for media assistance.

Find physicians around the world who specialize in the treatment of arrhythmias using the Heart Rhythm Society’s searchable directory.

This page contains "More Featured" items, which is a continuation from the homepage featured items.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. HRS makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

The founders of the Society established organizational leadership of a high caliber from the very beginning; introducing many prominent figures from the field of cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. Each president has been a driving force for the Society, supporting our mission and advancing clinical accomplishments in their respected field.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) grants a nonexclusive, limited permission to websites to place a text link to the Heart Rhythm Society website containing the exact words “Heart Rhythm Society” or “The Heart Rhythm Society” or our domain name on their site to develop a link between their site and HRS website(s).

As an international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmias professionals and patients its members and partners include clinicians, scientists, industry and government. Established in 1979 by four doctors who recognized the need to distinguish cardiac pacing and electrophysiology from other areas of cardiology, HRS today now represents more than 5,500 cardiac pacing and electrophysiology professionals in over 70 countries.  With a staff of 45, our organization continues to grow.

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) itself is usually not life threatening. If left untreated, the side effects of AFib can be potentially life threatening. AFib makes it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively. With the blood moving more slowly, it is more likely to form clots. If the clot is pumped out of the heart, it could travel to the brain and lead to a stroke. This is the cause of about 15 out of every 100 strokes.

Cardioversion is a corrective procedure where an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert, or change, an abnormal heart rhythm back to normal sinus rhythm. Most elective or "non-emergency" cardioversions are performed to treat atrial fibrillation (A Fib) or atrial flutter (AFL), non-life threatening abnormal heart rhythms. Cardioversion is used in emergency situations to correct an abnormal rhythm when it is accompanied by faintness, low blood pressure, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness.

Slow heartbeat (heart rate), called bradycardia, is an arrhythmia, or disorder of the heart’s rhythm. Each day, a normal heart beats about 100,000 times, at a rate any­where from 60 to 100 times a minute. Changes in heart rate caused by activity, diet, medications, and age are normal and common. 

Pacemaker

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Pacemakers are devices that are implanted into the body, just below the collarbone, to take over the job of the heart’s own electrical system and prevent slow heart rates. Although they weigh only an ounce and are the size of a large wristwatch face, a pacemaker contains a computer with memory and electrical circuits, a powerful battery (generator), and special wires called “leads.” The generator creates electrical impulses that are carried by the leads to the heart muscle, signaling it to pump.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating, abruptly and without warning. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. In addition, if the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock immediately, death follows within minutes. SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year. In fact, SCA claims one life every 90 seconds, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS. Unfortunately, 95 percent of people who experience SCA die as a result, mainly because treatment within minutes is not accessible.

Defibrillation, or shock, can be the only way to stop certain heart arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, before they kill. If the heart beats too quickly, the chambers, or ventricles, will not have enough time to fill with blood and pump blood to the rest of the body, which can cause death. For people at high risk for the deadliest forms of arrhythmias – called ventricular tachycardia and ventricu­lar fibrillation – an internal “shocking” device may be the best protection against sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

A normal heartbeat is controlled by a smooth, constant flow of electricity through the heart. A short-circuit anywhere along this electrical pathway can disrupt the normal flow of signals, causing an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). Cardiac ablation is a procedure used to destroy these short-circuits and restore normal rhythm, or to block damaged electrical pathways from sending faulty signals to the rest of the heart.

Though it may feel like the heart has skipped a beat, a premature heartbeat occurs when the heart's regular rhythm is interrupted by an early or even extra heartbeat. If the beat arises from locations in the atria (upper chambers) it is called premature atrial contraction (PAC). If it arises from the ventricles (lower chambers), it is called premature ventricular complexes (PVC). In most cases, neither is considered serious.

All Heart Rhythm Society members enjoy complimentary print and online subscriptions to HeartRhythm, which publishes both basic and clinical subject matter of scientific excellence devoted to the EP of the heart and blood vessels, as well as therapy.

Subscribe

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Stay up-to-date with the latest advances in the ever changing field of electrophysiology by subscribing to the HeartRhythm Journal. Not a Society member? Visit the HeartRhythm Journal website to subscribe or learn more.

September marks National Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Awareness Month, a critically important time for the Heart Rhythm Society to raise awareness for this life threatening arrhythmia. Our efforts are focused on helping the public become more familiar with the symptoms, warning signs, and available treatment options. Given the growing prevalence of AFib, in September 2009, HRS worked with other organizations to have the United States Senate officially designate September as National AFib Awareness Month.

Since then, September has been a time when we implement and promote AFib awareness programs and initiatives. This September was no different. I want to take this time to highlight the work we’ve done alongside our members to celebrate and recognize AFib Awareness Month this year.

More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). In fact, SCA claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS. To decrease the death toll from SCA, it is important to understand what SCA is, what warning signs are, and how to respond and prevent SCA from occurring.

More than 65 percent of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of SCA, but also believe SCA is a type of heart attack. But they are not the same thing.

HeartRhythm Case Reports is a new publication of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and will provide rapid online electronic publication of the most important, current case reports, illustrations, and educational vignettes in the field of cardiac arrhythmias and electrophysiology.

Treatment

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The underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. In general, the best treatment is the least invasive option that effectively controls the heart rhythm disorder. Treatment options fall into several categories from the least to the most invasive.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) encourages and supports the efforts of early career electrophysiologists and other heart rhythm professionals to participate in the Society’s activities. To that end, the Heart Rhythm Travel Scholarships support participation in the Annual Scientific Sessions with a complimentary registration to Heart Rhythm, up to $1,500 in reimbursement of travel costs paid after the Annual Scientific Sessions, and award presentation at the Heart Rhythm Society VIP Reception.

The EP field has always been driven by innovation. In the upcoming year, we will continue to focus on the fast-paced evolution of our field. As we prepare for our next annual meeting, you can expect to see even more groundbreaking science, innovation, and methods designed to clinical outcomes in our patients. Heart Rhythm 2017 is quickly approaching and I want to share an initial overview of what to expect and upcoming dates to keep in mind.

In October 2016, CMS released the final rule outlining new payment programs under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP) is a significant change to Medicare payment policy reshaping how information about patient care is captured and valued, which is a complicated process requiring a significant amount of time and education. Implementing MACRA likely will be a major challenge to your practice. It is the Society’s goal to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information, actionable resources, and tools.

February 1, 2017 – The Heart Rhythm Society prides itself on the diversity of our members. Our vision of ending death and suffering due to heart rhythm disorders requires us to be inclusive of all who share our mission. Our 5,800 total members include nearly 1,400 members from countries outside the United States. HRS welcomes physicians, allied professionals, educators, students, and researchers from every race, gender, economic status, and religious, political, and national background. It is our diversity that leads to the best science and care for patients around the world. Membership has no borders.

PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the non-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support

Through philanthropy we reaffirm our commitment to the future of our profession. The Honor Your Mentor Program allows us to celebrate our community by publicly expressing gratitude for the influential figures who shape our lives and careers. In recognition of these individuals and these special relationships, we are pleased to offer the opportunity to recognize those who have paved the way to your success.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education, and optimal health care policies and standards.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) welcomes the opportunity to expand educational offerings through sponsorship of high-quality programs for the pacing and electrophysiology (EP) communities. As a collaborator, HRS supports the planning and promotion of programs that facilitate audience participation and interactive learning, and provide program content that is balanced and free of bias.

The mission of Heart Rhythm Society's (HRS) continuing education program is to enhance the ability of heart rhythm specialists worldwide to provide excellent patient care throughout their careers, accomplished by providing academically rigorous, year-round learning to physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals, using innovative teaching methods and advanced technologies in HRS's educational courses and symposia, enduring materials and year-round educational activities.

Society membership offers timely and relevant information, professional education, and networking opportunities that you need to provide the best patient care possible.

What to Give

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Make a gift in recognition of the life and work of someone close to you and create a lasting tribute to the person honored or memorialized, while supporting HRS's programs. The families and individuals memorialized or honored will be notified of your gift; the amount, remains undisclosed unless otherwise requested. If you are interested in making a memorial or honorary gift, please provide the appropriate contact information when you make or submit your gift.

How To Give

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The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) offers a variety of donation programs to help sustain education programs, funding research fellowships, supporting patient awareness campaigns and providing travel scholarships. Contributions made through the initiatives below give the Society the flexibility to seed new ideas while continuing to meet its strategic goals. Thank you for supporting HRS through philanthropy.

HeartRhythm is rooted in fundamental discovery and clinical applicability, and our editorial team is always looking for innovative ways to bring the latest science-based and original research to the global EP community. In the last year alone, the number of submissions has significantly increased, with a growing presence of international studies. To reflect the advancement of research and our expanding international collaboration, we have made great efforts to enhance your journal experience.

Collaboration with industry is a cornerstone of our field, stimulating scientific and technological advances that further our profession and improve patient care. The Heart Rhythm Society’s Infinity Circle program recognizes the significant ongoing contributions of industry partners who help fund a wide range of Heart Rhythm Society initiatives and programs that benefit heart rhythm professionals and their patients.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Twitter Chat sessions allow HRS members to engage with each other through an interactive social media channel. These sessions are led by subject matter experts and allow for a live open discussion on a specific topic on Twitter and a webinar-style platform. The sessions have a designated hashtag which attendees can tweet questions and comments before and during the scheduled event. Panelists then answer and debate in a live recorded webinar and respond on Twitter.

Supporters

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Thank you! The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is honored to acknowledge and thank the many donors who have chosen to support the Society through philanthropic giving.  Our Circle of Giving and Annual Giving Honor Roll recognize those who have contributed to the Society’s efforts to improve the lives of people living with heart rhythm disorders.   

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) seeks to recognize and promote excellence in the field of cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. HRS offers a variety of awards and scholarships for heart rhythm professionals at every stage of their careers, from fellow-in-training to seasoned professional.

All Allied Professionals are automatically eligible for this award when submitting an abstract in the Allied Professionals category. Once the review process has been completed and all authors have been notified in February regarding the status of their abstracts, the winner of the Highest Scoring Abstract in the Allied Professionals Category award will be announced.

To be considered for this award, you must be a fellow currently in a training program or no more than one year out of fellowship training as of May 2017. You must also indicate your interest in applying for this award during the regular abstract submission period (October 7-December 2, 2016).  In late January, after abstracts have gone through the peer-review process, the submitting authors of the top five highest scoring abstracts will be sent an award application to complete, as along with an eligibility form to be signed by their training directors. Once the awards review process has been completed and all authors have been notified in February of the status of their abstracts, the winner of the award will be announced.

In November 2014, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and National Stroke Association, in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), shared results from a survey of more than 1,200 respondents to evaluate the impact of AFib and stroke on patients and caregivers, and the concurrent perceptions physicians have about treatment options and their patients’ understanding of issues surrounding the condition.

Even people who look healthy and free of heart disease can have arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), but those with heart disease are at the highest risk. So, reducing heart disease is important to lowering the risk of arrhythmias. Since the cause of an arrhythmia is not always clear, the best course of action is to prevent and treat heart problems, such as atherosclerosis (“clogged” arteries) and high blood pressure

The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest. The normal heart is made up of four parts: two atria on the top of the heart (right atrium and left atrium), and two ventricles (right ventricle and left ventricle), the muscular chambers on the bottom that provide the major power to pump blood. These four chambers are connected by valves that allow blood to move forward and prevent it from flowing backwards. Coronary arteries, or blood vessels, deliver a constant, nourishing supply of blood to the heart muscle.

With each heartbeat, the heart contracts (or squeezes) and relaxes. Every contraction pushes blood out of the two pumping chambers (ventricles). When the heart relaxes, the ventricles refill with blood. Ejection fraction (EF) refers to the amount, or percentage, of blood that is pumped (or ejected) out of the ventricles with each contraction. 

Many people with AFib feel no symptoms at all. They do not know they have AFib or that there is a problem. Others can tell as soon as it happens. The symptoms of AFib are different for each person. This depends on age, the cause of the AFib (such as heart problems or other diseases), and on how much AFib affects the pumping of the heart.

Donate Now

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The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) strives to improve the health of patients with heart rhythm disorders through education, research, and advocacy. HRS is a recognized leader for information and resources on heart rhythm disorders. Patients with heart rhythm disorders, as well as the health care professionals who treat them, recognize and use the Society as a primary source for current information and connection with others.

Millions of people experience irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias. Heart dieases and disorders, or arrhythmias, can be electrical, circulatory, or structural in origin.

The heart’s electrical system is responsible for making and conducting signals that trigger the heart to beat. These signals prompt the heart’s muscle to contract. With each contraction, blood is pumped throughout the body. The process begins in the upper chambers of the heart (atria), which pump blood into the lower chambers (ventricles).

The most common cause of SCA is a dangerous and abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). In VF, the electrical signals that control the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) become chaotic. This sends the ventricles into fibrillation, an extremely rapid and irregular quivering that cannot effectively pump blood to the body.

Atrial flutter (AFL) is a common abnormal heart rhythm, similar to atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm. Both conditions are types of supraventricular (above the ventricles) tachycardia (rapid heart beat). In AFL, the upper chambers (atria) of the heart beat too fast, which results in atrial muscle contractions that are faster than and out of sync with the lower chambers (ventricles).

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is pleased to announce the launch of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Accreditation program. HRS, in partnership with the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), the Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES), and the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals (ACVP) worked with electrophysiologists and other experts in the field to provide a method by which facilities performing cardiac electrophysiology procedures can document their commitment to quality.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) permanently repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, combines existing quality reporting programs into one new system and establishes a pathway for physicians to participate in an Alternative Payment Model. HRS provides educational tools to assist heart rhythm professionals with the implementation of the MACRA program.

Last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a discussion draft of the Senate GOP’s health care bill titled the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.” The bill could move to the floor once the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) completes its analysis. The CBO says that it aims to provide a score of the bill early this week.  While the bill largely reflects what was included in the House-passed “American Health Care Act of 2017” (AHCA), there are some key differences. 

Abbott (previously St Jude Medical) has recently announced that they have been forced to discontinue production of the Microny Pacemaker due to the obsolescence of components required to manufacturer and test these devices. For years this device has been the smallest pacemaker on the market at 5.9 cc, and has been an essential option for the smallest of infants who require pacing, particularly premature infants. The next smallest device in the USA is 7.9 cc (30% larger).

On June 29 2017, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) submitted public comments on the revised CMS ICD coverage policy. HRS and ACC, with the help of our members’ expertise, provided information regarding the clinical evidence released since the policy was last updated in 2005. HRS and ACC will submit additional comments in November 2017 when CMS releases the draft ICD policy. CMS is expected to release its final decision regarding the payment policy by February 28, 2018.

At its recent annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) overwhelmingly supported the Society’s recommendations that the AMA advocate to exempt physicians from current delays in the H1-B visa process for International Medical Graduates, and study the impact of these delays on the U.S. physician workforce and patient access to medical care.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) offers its guidance through scientific and clinical documents to provide three main components vital to advancements in the heart rhythm field: analysis, discussion of current issues, and suggestions for clinical application. HRS documents provide guidance to our membership and other entities on issues that are timely and for which guidance is currently lacking or needs to be updated.

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) has been developing clinical practice documents in collaboration and partnership with other professional medical societies since 1996. The HRS formed a Scientific and Clinical Documents Committee (SCDC) with the sole purpose of managing the development of these documents from conception through publication. The SCDC oversees the process for developing clinical practice documents, with input and approval from the HRS Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees. As of September 2017, the HRS has produced more than 80 publications with other professional organizations. The HRS Clinical Document Development Methodology Manual and Policies transparently declares the standards by which the HRS develops clinical practice documents, which include clinical practice guidelines, expert consensus statements, scientific statements, clinical competency statements, task force policy statements, and proceedings statements. 

The following documents were developed by other organizations and were reviewed and endorsed or affirmed by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). In some cases, the HRS provided a representative to the initiative, which is indicated in the supporting text on the website and within the document. Documents methodology of which fully adheres to the HRS development methodology may be fully endorsed.

The Heart Rhythm Society supports the electrophysiology trainer and trainee throughout their career. The Fellowship Resource Center updates the electrophysiology community on upcoming and active fellowship and scholarship opportunities and serves as a resource center for Fellowship Program Directors. Please use the links below for access.

Each year, the Heart Rhythm Society awards full-year Research Fellowships to individuals interested in clinical and basic research relating to the latest advances in electrophysiology. These Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships include a one-year stipend of $50,000, complimentary membership to the Society and complimentary registration to the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions.

Heart failure (HF), previously called congestive heart failure, is a serious condition most commonly caused by weak pumping of the heart muscle. Poor heart pumping function can cause fatigue, leg swelling, and difficulty breathing, particularly with exertion. Lifestyle changes, medication, pacemakers, defibrillators and even open heart surgery can be used to treat heart failure.

Heart block is an abnormal heart rhythm where the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia). In this condition, the electrical signals that tell the heart to contract are partially or totally blocked between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles). For this reason, it is also called atrioventricular block (AV block).

Some abnormal heart rhythms can happen without the person knowing it, while some may cause the feeling of the heart “racing,” lightheadedness, or dizziness.  At some point in life, many adults have had short-lived heart rhythm changes that are not serious. 

Sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is a relatively uncommon heart rhythm disorder. SSS is not a specific disease, but rather a group of signs or symptoms that indicate the sinus node, the heart’s natural pacemaker, is not functioning properly. A person with SSS may have a heart rhythm that is too slow (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia), or one that alternates between the fast and slow (bradycardia-tachycardia).

Because the heart’s electrical system is complicated, diagnosing abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias) can be difficult and requires heart rhythm experts who use special testing equipment. To find the problem, a doctor will take a medical history, ask about symptoms, give a thorough physical exam, and order specific tests. 

Fainting

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Fainting (syncope) is a sudden transient loss of consciousness. It most often happens when the blood pressure is too low (hypotension) and the heart does not pump enough oxygen to the brain. Typically, a fainting spell lasts only a few seconds or minutes, and then the person regains consciousness. Fainting is common and a single spell usually is not serious.