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The Role of Personalized Medicine in Cardiovascular Care

Topics: Cardiovascular, Service Lines, Genomics, Lab, Market Trends, Strategy, Strategy Implementation, Planning, Quality, Performance Improvement, Patient-Focused Care, Methodologies, Evidence-Based Practice

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By reading this study, members will be able to:

  • Understand the clinical implications of recent advances in genomics and human biology for the cardiovascular service lines
  • Evaluate the future role of personalized medicine within their cardiovascular program
  • Implement best practices to tailor treatment strategies based on the individual characteristics of each patient

Executive Summary

In response to increased pressure to provide clinically efficacious and cost-effective care, progressive hospitals are beginning to tailor treatment strategies based on the individual characteristics of each patient, a concept referred to as personalized medicine. While currently in its nascence, experts predict that personalized medicine will have a larger role in the management of cardiovascular patients in the next five to ten years. By customizing care protocols, clinicians can improve outcomes as well as lower costs by lowering complication rates and reducing the provision of expensive, yet ineffective, interventions.

While using observable differences in patients to support clinical decision making is not a novel concept, recent technological advances enable physicians to further customize their clinical approach based on a patient’s molecular make-up. As such, the modern conception of personalized medicine has evolved to include a range of techniques, from risk stratifying patients based on patient and family history, to using variations in a patient’s genetic code to guide prevention and treatment of disease.

Beyond improving quality and reducing health care costs, providing personalized medicine may offer programs an opportunity to secure market differentiation in an increasingly competitive environment. However, realizing these gains is often hindered by limited access to necessary resources, lack of physician education, and difficulties evaluating the clinical applicability. Given these challenges, this report provides an overview of recent advances in personalized medicine as it relates to the cardiovascular enterprise, and presents profiles of three institutions that have successfully adopted progressive approaches in this field.

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