Cardiologist Espouses Team-Based Treatment with YouScript®
What does cardiology have in common with the popular TV series, House? On the show, every patient had a whole team of doctors who brainstormed their case and potential care plan. Cardiology can often be similar, requiring a team-based approach for each individual patient. YouScript is helping at least one doctor achieve that goal.
Dr. David N. Smith is an invasive cardiologist at the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and his team see cases ranging from preventative care—treating patients with a history or risk of cardiovascular diseases—to more complex cases such as nuclear imaging and stent placement.
Dr. Smith’s team uses YouScript to help tailor therapy as part of his emphasis on comprehensive and personalized cardio-vascular disease care. The efficacy of many of the medications he commonly uses, such as statins, beta-blockers, anticoagulants and ACE inhibitors, can be affected by common genetic variations, which makes YouScript an important tool in his prescribing process.
While the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute is very busy (it’s one of the largest cardiology clinics in the state), Dr. Smith has found an easy way to integrate YouScript into his workflow. By introducing the patient’s doctors to YouScript and having designated staff members collect DNA samples and confirm each patient’s medications, his team can effectively coordinate medication management. This allows Dr. Smith to focus his time on reviewing the YouScript Personalized Prescribing Report and other print outs, examining alternative medications and making his recommendations to the primary or referring physician.
This emphasis on cooperation and teamwork within his clinic also extends to when Dr. Smith reaches out to general practitioners outside of his practice. "I have no problem picking up the phone and talking to any of the referring physicians," said Dr. Smith. Because patients often see multiple doctors, they can be taking an amalgam of medications, some of which may negatively interact. He often uses the clinical notes provided by YouScript to share information with other doctors.
Many are very receptive to these collaborations. "I’ll do genomic or an individualized approach and the next thing you know we’re coming up with a whole new perspective… I saw this perfect marriage where I could use YouScript to enhance what I’m trying to do in the cardiology community."
Dr. Smith’s initial interest came from his background in laboratory research. "We’ve all spent decades learning that patients are unique and the scientific mechanisms behind that uniqueness, yet we still treat on clinical patterns and syndromes. The disconnect there is huge and I think therein lies a lot of the detriments, adverse reactions and disparate outcomes that we’re currently seeing. I think genomic medicine plays a huge role in bridging the two and eradicating mistakes."
"I’d love for people to know this is not the wave of the future anymore. This is now. Genomic testing is here. We need the application now…The answers to all of our questions: healthcare dollars that could be saved, the volume of patients we’re going to see, how we’re going to handle and manage it, how we’re going to deal with the limited time to address so many issues—all of these things can be mitigated, if not eliminated, by going back to the genetics and genomics."