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How does the ‘Heart Team’ decision get enacted for patients with coronary artery disease?
  1. Pankaj Kumar Mishra1,
  2. Heyman Luckraz1,
  3. Dincer Aktuerk1,
  4. Joyce Thekkudan1,
  5. Sophia Mahboob2,
  6. Mike Norell3
  1. 1Cardiothoracic Unit, Heart & Lung Centre, Wolverhampton, UK
  2. 2Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, Heart & Lung Centre, Wolverhampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Pankaj Kumar Mishra, MD, MCh (CTh), MRCS, FRCS (CTh), Cardiothoracic Unit, Heart & Lung Centre, Wolverhampton WV10 0QP, UK; mishrapk_25{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

Objectives A heart team approach has been recommended for managing patients with coronary artery disease. Although this seems to be a new concept, we have been developing such a practice for over 8 years. In this report, the enactment of the heart team decision is reviewed and possible improvement is discussed.

Design Review of 1000 heart team decisions over a 1-year period for patients with coronary artery disease. These decisions were recorded contemporaneously at the time of the team discussion. Thereafter, patient's notes were reviewed 6 months following the heart team meeting to assess whether the decision was enacted and, if not, what were the reasons for aberration.

Results The heart team decision was enacted in 95.5% of patients. The reasons for aberration in the remaining 45 patients included patient's choice (refusal), unrecognised comorbidities at the time of the heart team discussion, change in patient's clinical condition requiring urgent intervention and death while awaiting procedure, among others.

Conclusions The decision of a well set-up heartteam meeting is carried out for most patients. Aberration is uncommon and usually due to unknown factors at the time of the discussion. The heart team approach ensures that patients receive best available care (most likely evidence-based), and demonstrates transparency.

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