The COVID-19 challenge to cardiac electrophysiologists: optimizing resources at a referral center

Patrizio Mazzone, Giovanni Peretto, Andrea Radinovic, Luca Rosario Limite, Alessandra Marzi, Simone Sala, Manuela Cireddu, Pasquale Vegara, Francesca Baratto, Gabriele Paglino, Giuseppe D’Angelo, Lorenzo Cianfanelli, Savino Altizio, Felicia Lipartiti, Antonio Frontera, Caterina Bisceglia, Simone Gulletta, Paolo Della Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To describe how a referral center for cardiac electrophysiology (EP) rapidly changed to comply with the ongoing COVID-19 healthcare emergency. Methods: We present retrospective data about the modification of daily activities at our EP unit, following the pandemic outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Italy. In particular, in the context of a pre-existing “hub-and-spoke” network, we describe how procedure types and volumes have changed in the last 3 months. Results: Since our institution was selected as a COVID-19 referral center, the entire in-hospital activity was reorganized to assist more than 1000 COVID-positive cases. Only urgent EP procedures, including ventricular tachycardia ablation and extraction of infected devices, were both maintained and optimized to meet the needs of external hospitals. In addition, most of the non-urgent EP procedures were postponed. Finally, following prompt internal reorganization, both outpatient clinics and on-call services underwent significant modification, by integrating telemedicine support whenever applicable. Conclusion: We presented the fast reorganization of an EP referral center during the ongoing COVID-19 healthcare emergency. Our hub-and-spoke model may be useful for other centers, aiming at a cost-effective management of resources in the context of a global crisis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Arrhythmology
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Electrophysiology
  • Hub and spoke
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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