Working Collaboratively to Address the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease | Cardiology Magazine
Although lipid management crosses over many medical specialty areas, including cardiology, primary care and internal medicine, endocrinology, pediatrics, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, Kim Birtcher, MS, PharmD, AACC, chair of the ACC’s new LDL: Address the Risk Oversight Work Group, believes that the challenge is the same for all clinicians. “Many patients are not taking the medications or making the lifestyle changes needed to lower the risk of having a cardiovascular event,” she said.
The new work group is designed to improve patient outcomes by increasing the awareness of the gaps in lipid management, along with the importance of managing LDL-related risks. “The Work Group will develop high quality tools to increase the awareness of LDL-C treatment issues and improve patient care,” Birtcher shared. Among the tools that will be developed: a new dyslipidemia clinical community on CardioSource.org slated for December; a risk assessment toolkit and mobile application for clinicians; patient and clinician education materials; and more.
Additionally, the work group is looking to work with other medical specialty societies, patient groups and other stakeholders to both identify and close gaps in care. Most recently, the College convened a stakeholder group at ACC’s Heart House as part of an “LDL: Address the Risk Think Tank.” The goal was to discuss issues in lipid management relating to upcoming new guidelines, special patient populations and gaps in care.
According to Birtcher, one of the biggest takeaways from the meeting was that treatment strategies need to be tailored to the individual patient. “Clinicians need to have a relationship with their patients, so the patients will communicate when they have questions or concerns about their treatment.”
Moving forward, Birtcher hopes that the College will continue to play a key part in providing the best LDL information and tools for clinicians and patients for years to come.
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