Success Story: Palliative Care and Cardiology Collaboration

Good communication and relationships are key to effective medicine – between providers and patients as well as amongst providers. In order to strengthen the connections between palliative care and cardiology to assist patients living with end-stage cardiac disease, Dr. Jody Anderson from Palliative Care, and her cardiologist colleague, Dr. Daisy Dulay, determined to enhance the relationship between Cardiology and Palliative Care to identify areas of potential collaboration. They hoped that doing so would provide a more seamless transition for these patients approaching end of life and as a result, reduce visits to the ER, the ICU, and the CCU.

In May 2019, a group of palliative care physicians and cardiologists met to brainstorm ways they could better support mutual patients. Calling it “a great start to a new relationship”, Dr. Anderson was very pleased with the quality of the conversation and the general spirit of cooperation that pervaded the event. One potential area of collaboration identified was to support high-risk patients awaiting cardiac interventions (e.g. aortic valve replacement) with a palliative care consult, given the burdensome symptoms they experience and their poor overall condition.

This meeting was a starting point to explore possible opportunities in which the two departments can work together. Speaking about the project, Dr. Anderson stated, “This funding helped immeasurably to spark an ongoing collaborative relationship between these two departments. I had no other way of funding this type of event. It wasn’t an educational event, there was no CME, it really was about facilitating a conversation between these two groups of providers.”

 


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