HealthMay 06, 2024

New cardiovascular health risks are emerging: Leaders can engage patients to improve outcomes

Cardiovascular health is changing, and organizations that engage patients with compassion will be key to driving positive outcomes in the future. 

While new risk factors are emerging, advancements in proactive cardiac care mean that physicians and healthcare administrators have growing opportunities to identify cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks and support a patient journey that empathetically aligns with the needs of care communities.  

Addressing the changing cardiovascular landscape requires that health system leaders support clinicians in meeting patients where they are. This means fostering an understanding of where population health trends are headed, where providers can play a supportive role, and how technology can enable a path forward in identifying and responding to CVD risks as early as possible. This happens while also integrating personalized approaches that tailor interventions and treatment plans to the unique needs and circumstances of individual patients. Administrators and clinicians can make progress by prioritizing a few key actions. 

Exploring the complex nature of modern cardiovascular health

The world has seen significant improvements in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in recent years. While the age-standardized death rate from CVD in the United States was over 500 per 100,000 people in 1950, that number dropped to just over 130 in 2021. Today, 90% of heart disease is believed to be preventable through interventions in cardiovascular health

But challenges persist as cardiovascular disease is predicted to become more serious and more widespread in the coming years, especially in certain regions—low and middle-income countries (LMIC) account for 80% of cardiovascular deaths globally.

Social determinants of health including low socioeconomic status have emerged as a recognized risk factor. This is because of limited educational and economic opportunities, lack of influence from peers toward healthier lifestyle choices, and increased psychosocial stressors. 

Expanding the providers’ role as enabler of proactive cardiac care

Health system leaders have growing opportunity to support clinicians in empathetically engaging patients as partners—helping them work with their patients to forge the clinical care paths that lead to better cardiovascular health.

This is especially true in empowering patient comprehension and trust. According to the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), almost half of patients say they don’t feel listened to by their provider, and almost 70% say their health would improve if they worked with a provider they trusted.

Developing trust in cardiac care patients starts with patient education that enables comprehension—reaching out to explain complex concepts and removing some of the fear factor from potentially frightening discussions so patients can focus on the concepts. 

Opportunities in engaging heart patients

The results of patient engagement have been clearly demonstrated for heart failure patients, with American Heart Association-funded research exploring the results of engagement through a specialized tool.  

Incorporating social drivers of health is also a critical step in making empathy actionable in your cardiovascular health programs. Demographically targeted programs in women's heart health, like Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Community Cardiovascular Wellness Program, have helped reach select groups that have increased risk of cardiovascular conditions. These programs should support community education around topics like heart attack symptoms in women, risk factors for women, and general heart health recommendations for women. 

Tracking new developments in engaging cardiac patients

At the patient level, physicians can look for opportunities in holistic health and emerging indicators of cardiovascular health and interventions in proactive cardiac care. 

How leadership can shape organizations that facilitate cardiovascular health

Healthcare leaders across the globe are eager to acquire more information to improve patient care and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their engagement initiatives. To establish momentum and make empathy actionable, their clinicians will need updated information about clinical best practices—information that is easily accessible and aligned with the continuously evolving risk factors and interventions around cardiovascular health.

Look for solutions that offer an enterprise approach to cardiovascular health and that include functionality built for your program needs. A good example is the UpToDate Point of Care Report available from Wolters Kluwer.

Today’s health leaders are uniquely positioned to identify CVD risks earlier in the patient journey, enhance patient care pathways, and engage patients while cutting costs by exploring the role technology can play in facilitating future efforts in combating cardiovascular disease.

Watch the Scottsdale Institute webinar to learn more about engaging patients with empathetic health information.

Complete the form below to watch the webinar

Holly Urban professional headshot
Vice President, Business Development-Strategy, Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer Health
Holly Urban, MD, MBA has extensive experience in healthcare technology and believes in the power of evidence-based content to transform EHRs beyond transactional systems into tools that allow clinicians to provide improved patient outcomes.
UpToDate Enterprise Suite

Unified clinical solutions for the entire healthcare continuum.

Align your care teams, business leaders, patients, and members with unified, evidence-based clinical, drug, and engagement solutions trusted by global clinicians for over 30 years.

Back To Top