First Word: Personalized Care Extends Outward

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 - C.P. Kaiser

One of the promises of the future of medicine is a greater degree of personalized care. Many would argue—and they would have a case—that the future is here.

In our cover story ( click here), we explore the emerging field of individualized antiplatelet therapy. While it is clear that perhaps one-third of patients do not metabolize clopidogrel in a normal fashion, it is not so clear how to best identify these patients or what to do once they are identified. Be assured, though, that these types of genetic and physiologic differences among patient populations will increasingly play vital roles in the quest for optimal outcomes.

Personalized medicine is all about the individual. In our patient monitoring article ( click here), we highlight some of the improvements in technology that allow patients with chronic diseases to remain home and still be in touch with their care-giving team. Not only is this technology better for patient comfort, but it can help keep readmissions to a minimum.

A major change to the CPR guidelines was unveiled by the American Heart Association in October. Evidence has been mounting since 2005, the last time the guidelines were updated, indicating that chest compressions alone are as good if not better than compressions with ventilations ( click here). The new guidelines call for bystanders to immediately start chest compressions, as the most important aspect of CPR is to get the blood flowing to the heart and brain. Professional EMS as well should administer chest compressions with minimal interruptions.

At the recent American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting in Philadelphia, there was a buzz about PET imaging. Many practices want to know how to integrate it into their service line. On page 14, we have another article highlighting the benefits of PET imaging as seen from the practice administrator’s perspective. We plan to have more of these informative snapshots.

And finally, the tremendous growth of minimally invasive procedures has spurred many a facility to build new cath labs or update existing labs. While those processes are ongoing, one of the best ways to keep existing patients is to go mobile. Read about the experiences of two facilities who relied on mobile units while their in-hospital labs were undergoing transformation ( click here).

As always, drop me a note about these or any other issues in cardiovascular medicine.