The Heart Group, P.C. is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to your patients, and appreciates the trust you have placed in our practice. We are excited to announce the formation of a valve clinic program, a quality initiative aimed at identifying and treating patients with valvular heart disease. Current research supports that valvular heart disease and specifically aortic valve stenosis (AS), is both underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Our valve clinic program was developed based on guidelines established jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) on heart valve disease. The main goal of the valve clinic program is to ensure all patients with heart valve disease are identified, diagnosed, and evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. The ACC emphasizes that the symptoms of AS (aortic stenosis) may be subtle and often are not elicited during routine clinical history. Eventually however, symptoms of angina, syncope, or heart failure develop after a long latent period. After the onset of symptoms from severe AS the average survival is 2 to 3 years with a high risk of sudden death. Thus, the development of symptoms identifies a critical point in the natural history of AS. The ACC also advocates that the management decisions be based largely on these data. The ACC supports 2D-initial echocardiography when there is a systolic murmur that is grade 3/6 or greater, a single S2, or symptoms that might be due to AS.
The valve clinic is initiated after echocardiographic findings consistent with current ACC/AHA guidelines for severe valvular heart disease have been documented by THG echocardiography department or by the hospital. The echo technician will notify the ordering physician as well as our nurse navigator. The nurse navigator will collaborate with the admitting and or referring physician to coordinate appropriate consultation and additional work up should this be desired. Our goal is to streamline care for the patient and provide cardiology or surgical consultation prior to hospital discharge, or expedite an office referral should they be out patient.