Advances in Treatment of Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - Episode 15

Patient Education of HCM

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Expert cardiologists share strategies for educating patients on the treatment and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

James Januzzi, MD: I’d love for you to share with the viewers what strategies you have implemented based on your experiences to educate patients about their journey. Because that’s so important, as John has said, about making this a patient-centered diagnosis. What’s a day in the life of Dr Maron and Dr Ommen in how you approach these issues?

Martin S. Maron, MD: I’ll go first. Like I’m sure Steve does, we spend a lot of time with patients when they come and do our own education with them, along with our health care team and nurse practitioners to educate patients about the disease. We spend a lot of time on education, reassurance, putting these issues that we’ve talked about in perspective, and doing a lot of shared decision-making, going through treatment options. At the end of the day, we try to deliver the message that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy [HCM] is a highly treatable disease. It’s going to probably be more so in the future, but even today it’s very treatable and a disease that’s compatible with normal life expectancy and good quality of life for the vast majority of patients. That’s the messaging that we give to patients the best that we can.

James Januzzi, MD: Great. Steve?

Steve R. Ommen, MD: I’d echo the same thing. Patients come to us after having done their own education attempts on the internet, freaked out with wide eyes because they’ve read all the dramatic stories that are available, and we have to remind them that people who have normal lives don’t usually blog about it.

I’d like to reiterate the same words about HCM in the modern era. We’ve gone from an era where it was 100% fatal in 1958 when Donald Teare described it to a 6% annual mortality in the 1980s to an annual mortality that’s the same as the general population. It’s a highly treatable disease for most patients. There are patients in whom there are issues. This discussion wasn’t about sudden cardiac arrest, which would be another 2 hours. Then there are quality-of-life issues that some patients have. But it’s a highly treatable disease and we’re getting more tools in our toolbox for the future, which is exciting.

James Januzzi, MD: That’s super. Javed, any final thoughts you want to share?

Javed Butler, MD, MPH, MBA: My final thought is that we have these therapies and we want to do anything and everything that we can for the patients to not unnecessarily suffer. The question is how do we educate the clinical community at large to refer the patients to the appropriate centers and to diagnose and screen these patients? While the specialists are very interested in and have a lot of these tools, more mass education about this disease would also be needed.

James Januzzi, MD: From an administrator’s point of view, let me ask you to put that hat on for a second. When you’re looking at making recommendations for clinicians who are interested in getting involved in this, what things would you say are needed in terms of understanding things like catheter-based approaches, surgical approaches, and volume, which you talked a bit about? What do you think about setting certain expectations?

Javed Butler, MD, MPH, MBA: You can modify behavior quite a lot by creating appropriate incentive structures in terms of education, screening, and quality metrics. You can also set up tools. We live in this digital age and everybody is on an electronic health record. A lot of the education and best practice advisories can be had for our patients in this era. Education and reminder systems are easier in the current day and age.

James Januzzi, MD: Super. John, I’m going to turn to you last. You always keep the patient in the center. I’m curious to hear your final thoughts.

John A. Spertus, MD, MPH: First, I’m humbled by the expertise at this panel and not being an HCM expert. I feel a tremendous need to think about the infrastructure for elevating the quality of care throughout the nation. What does that entail? Does it entail thinking about algorithms, building shared decision-making tools, integrating routine assessments of health status with the KCCQ [Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire], and coming up with very practical management strategies so that you don’t have to be in Boston or Rochester, Minnesota, to get high-quality care?

James Januzzi, MD: Or Kansas City for that matter.

John A. Spertus, MD, MPH: Or Kansas City. That’s what I’m left with. It’s a complicated disease, but it’s an exciting disease. As more treatment options become available, there’s a greater call for thinking about the infrastructure of delivering high-quality patient-centered care. That’s what I’d like to see us move toward so that we can all benefit from the advances being made.

James Januzzi, MD: Super. That’s a great way to conclude. I want to thank all of you for this rich and informative discussion. I want to thank you, our viewers, for watching this HCPLive® Peer Exchange. If you enjoyed the content, please subscribe for our e-newsletters to receive upcoming Peer Exchanges and other great content right in your inbox. I’m Jim Januzzi from the Massachusetts General Hospital. Thanks very much for joining.

Transcript Edited for Clarity