Working Together to Create a Better Patient Journey
Thursday 10th December 2020
Heart valve disease is a serious cardiovascular condition which can be fatal if left untreated. Following on from our Heart Health Survey, Global Heart Hub’s Heart Valve Disease Patient Council has partnered with The Health Policy Partnership, an independent health policy research organisation, to develop a report aiming to raise stakeholder awareness of heart valve disease across Europe.
Addressing gaps in heart valve care is important, and urgent. Heart valve disease affects millions of people in Europe and cases are on the rise with the ageing of the population.
The report explores what an optimal care pathway looks like for people with heart valve disease across Europe, from awareness to follow-up care. It discusses gaps that exist in care and how best to address them.
This is an urgent priority: estimates suggest the number of people living with heart valve disease will double by 2040 and triple by 2060. The report was developed under the guidance of an expert advisory group, whose members included patient representatives and healthcare professionals engaged in heart valve disease care across Europe.
Key recommendations from the report include:
1. Primary Care Training: Develop specific training for primary care practitioners to alert them to the red flag symptoms of heart valve disease and disease progression
2. Better Access to Digital Tools: Facilitate integration of digital tools to aid in detection of heart valve disease in primary care settings
3. Rapid Referral for and Wider Access to Echo: Offer echocardiograms to symptomatic patients within two weeks of initial referral and to asymptomatic patients within six weeks
4. Reduce Inequalities in Access to Treatment: Address root causes of inequalities in access to all components of heart valve care
5. Increased Uptake of Innovative and Evidenced-Based Technologies: Ensure that investment decisions are led by clinical guidelines and not just cost considerations
Heart Valve Voice CEO Wil Woan said "Heart valve disease: working together to create a better patient journey was developed under the guidance of a multidisciplinary advisory group, whose members included patient representatives and different healthcare professionals engaged in heart valve disease care from around Europe. The report builds on other national efforts and takes a European perspective on what an optimal care pathway should look like for people with heart valve disease. Patient-driven reports like this one will help the collective ambition to achieve optimal outcomes for patients, and will support national objectives related to heart valve disease across Europe."