Cardiology Magazine — May-June 2012
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From The President

Congenital Cardiology: A Case Study in Patient-Centered Care

As medical care and treatments have advanced, children born with congenital heart disease (CHD) are living longer and healthier lives, even into adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one million adults in the U.S. are living with CHD. Given the need for CHD patients to have continuous cardiovascular care throughout their lives, no better case study for patient-centered care (PCC) exists.

The ACC Foundation’s new health policy statement on PCC, which you can read about on page 34, highlights key elements necessary for PCC, including enhanced clinician/patient communications; health literacy; clinician-directed patient education; assessment of patient-centered outcomes; shared decision-making, and patient empowerment and self-management. In this issue of Cardiology, you’ll see the many ways the adult congenital and pediatric cardiology (ACPC) community, under the leadership and guidance of the College’s ACPC Council and Section, are putting many of these elements into action.

Former ACPC Council Chair Gerard Martin, MD, FACC, writes about the importance of continuous quality care in treating CHD patients in the cover story. He touches on the need for collaboration among adult CHD specialists, general cardiologists and pediatric cardiologists to educate each other, along with patients, on how to manage care over the course of a patient’s life. Current ACPC Council Chair Kathy Jenkins, MD, FACC, provides a closer look at the ACPC section’s role in making this happen. In addition, other articles provide a closer look at College efforts to track CHD patient care via the IMPACT Registry ®; develop much-needed CHD quality metrics for use around the globe; and work closely with state chapters on patient education and advocacy.

Also in this issue, don’t miss overviews of the latest clinical documents, including updated heart failure performance measures and appropriate use criteria for diagnostic catheterization.

More detailed articles on these documents can be found on Discussions on these and related topics are also taking place on the ACC in Touch Blog ( I also encourage you to check out the photo montage from ACC.12 and ACC-i2 with TCT in Chicago and learn more about upcoming health information technology deadlines, Food and Drug Administration updates, and the important work the College is doing internationally.

In closing, I’d like to thank the ACPC Council for all of their hard work in pulling together this issue of Cardiology. We have made significant inroads in the treatment and care of CHD patients, in part because the unique needs of the CHD patient community require us to provide continuous, lifelong care and involve patients and their care providers in care decisions from an early age. There are many lessons we can learn on a broader level from the CHD community as we move forward with our patient-centered care actions; a tribute of this issue of Cardiology!