Recognizing Cardiology-Specific Challenges

David May, MD, PhD, FACC; Arthur Garson, Jr, MD, MPH; and Patrick White discuss how enhancements in patient education, electronic health information systems, and patient adherence can improve the physical and emotional issues that cardiology patients face during transitions between healthcare settings.

Dr May recognizes that in addition to the more obvious physical issues that occur during these moves, cardiology patients experience emotional transitions. He suggests educational techniques that can help support and comfort patients and their caregivers during recovery.

Mr White explains that as a result of a lack of integration, physicians are often unaware of the challenges that patients face during transitions. To better coordinate care, he suggests improvements in electronic health information systems to help streamline the transfer of patient information.

Dr Garson concludes that despite discharge planning services that are organized by hospitals, many transitions of care issues occur because of a lack of patient adherence; for example, patients may not keep follow-up appointments. Ultimately, patients are responsible for managing their own health.

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