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Q&A: Patricia Daniels, case manager, Catheterization Laboratory

Toronto, February 28, 2014

By Evelyne Jhung

Patricia Daniels
Patricia Daniels (Photo by Katie Cooper)

Pat Daniels has been at St. Michael’s for almost 30 years. She’s been a cardiac care case manager since 2000. The catheterization lab is actually comprised of three labs, two for angiograms and angioplasties and one for electrophysiology.

1. What does your job entail?

My job is to make sure that people who need an angioplasty – definitive diagnosis of heart disease – get into the cath lab. Every morning, I check the fax and my phone for requests. If physicians call me with referrals, I get in touch with their patients. I triage and make arrangements to get patients in for angiograms which often lead to angioplasties and/or surgery.

2. How many patients do you schedule every day?

I usually book seven a day, but we have done up to 20 between the two labs. For instance, if someone was rushed in with a Code STEMI – that is, someone having a severe type of heart attack best treated by angioplasty – we would bring them straight in. Some days, we may have four of those, other days, we may not have any. On average, we get about 400 Code STEMIs a year.

3. Sounds like it’s a lot of juggling schedules. What’s the most challenging part of your day?

Yes, it’s a lot of scheduling and speaking with patients, educating them so that they’re ready to come in. And when they do come in, to make sure the right physician is available for the right patient. The most challenging aspect is when I know a patient needs to come in, but I’m not sure that I can make it happen. The good part is that I work with a great team who understand that this could be their mother or father, so they’re always willing to stay on to do one more emergency.

4. What’s a highlight for you?

When I first started out, patients used to have to wait six months for an angiogram. Through the collaboration of cardiac centres such as St. Michael’s, the Cardiac Care Network and the province, there’s virtually no wait in Ontario now. If you need one, you can get one.

5. How are you staying warm this winter?

I’m a hibernator; I’m more likely to be curled up reading a book than on a beach somewhere. I’ve got Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn on the go. So far, so good!

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media contacts

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Sievenpiper, contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Manager, Media Strategy
416-864-6094
shepherdl@smh.ca