Since Abbott released Beyond Intervention, a global qualitative research paper on the state of cardiovascular care, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, much has changed in the world of healthcare.
Abbott knows that despite the pandemic, cardiologists still rely on the devices we make to treat cardiovascular disease and improve the quality of life for their patients. We also know that cardiovascular care happens long before and long after a visit to the cardiac catheterization lab. This is where we at Abbott hope to have a greater impact.
We began by gathering research from around the world; the nine countries included in the survey were Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. This cross section of countries captured the perspectives of 345 cardiologists or physicians who refer patients to interventional cardiologists; nearly 1,000 patients who had coronary artery disease or peripheral arterial disease; and over 100 hospital administrators who are responsible for investments in cardiovascular devices and capital equipment.
By no means do the results make any sweeping claims that speak for every hospital administrator responsible for the procurement of catheterization lab equipment, nor every interventional cardiologist, or patient that has lived through a vascular procedure. But it provides a glimpse into the world of vascular care in which these three groups interact with each other and revealed some universal attitudes.
What emerged from the results were varying perspectives:
- Patients perceive they are not getting enough face-to-face time with their physicians, which translates into not enough personalized care or treatment plans designed specifically for them.
- Physicians acknowledged the scarcity of time with patients with concern about follow-up care and adherence to treatment and lifestyle modification.
- Hospital administrators felt the pressure to deliver high quality, positive patient experiences with good outcomes while managing constrained budgets.
When asked about addressing the data gaps in patient care, there was no consensus on the solution; genetic biomarkers data, data that presented clinical outcomes based on treatment, total cost of care data, genetic mapping, and data gaps on treatment plans all held sway with the physicians we surveyed. Even if we had the ability to collect and synthesize all the data points that physicians identified as beneficial, doctors are still not able to share this data with other specialists, doctors and providers and therefore not meeting the expectations of the patient to deliver individualized care plans.
To reach that point, we need to create a system that is mutually beneficial—a system in which both patient and doctor are supported by a healthcare system with the right infrastructure and technologies; a system that facilitates physicians to provide the best patient care, and where the tools and conditions enable patients to adhere to medication, treatment and lifestyle modifications.
The analysis and research we have undertaken to determine what the needs of administrators, physicians and patients are is one of the hallmarks of user centered design. By focusing on the whole patient, and by placing him or her at the center of the healthcare world, providers can see beyond the intervention alone.
Now that we know what hospital administrators, physicians and patients think they need, it is up to us to collaborate with others in the medical device industry, partner with policy makers and healthcare providers and, together, look at the data we have gathered, analyze it, and translate it into meaningful and measurable change for the benefit of vascular patients and their caregivers everywhere.
Out of necessity due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the scope is widening for companies like Abbott to respond with more solutions to patient-centered care before, during and after intervention. It is both a daunting and exciting path that lays ahead of us, one that I look forward to charting with fellow leaders in healthcare.
Chuck Brynelsen, Senior Vice President of Abbott’s Vascular Business