Taking responsibility for matters of the heart

Taking responsibility for matters of the heart

Taking responsibility for matters of the heart

‘The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency. -- Jim Tressel.

It’s been over three centuries since cardiology debuted. From the early years of belief that the heart was a three-chambered organ (according to Aristotle) to the gradual realization of its four-chambered anatomy, cardiology demanded its specialization as the 20th century dawned. It was becoming clear that its complexities required greater scrutiny, understanding and teamwork.

By the middle of the 20th century, heart disease was accepted as a significant public health concern.

As cardiovascular disease (CVD) statistics keep rising globally ­– they jumped from 12.1 million in 1990 to 20.5 million in 2021, according to the World Heart Federation – heartcare specializations are holding out the hope that we can turn the tide. We are breaking new ground in cardiac care regarding diagnostics, treatments, interventions, and medications even as we reexamine the fundamentals – the heart's science and genes' impact on heart health.

American Hospital Dubai’s Heart and Vascular Center, one of our centers of excellence, stands at the intersection of these examinations. When we conceived the Centre and its purpose, we placed process at its core. What do I mean by process? It means providing a complete cardiac care program adhering to international standards that runs the gamut of the continuum of care with consistency.

Why is consistency intrinsic to excellence? Because it guarantees the outcome. What is the outcome here? Patient benefit.

Each stage in our process of consistency is seamlessly integrated into our cardiac care continuum: primary care, specialty care, diagnostics, the latest evidence-based interventions and hospital care, post-care rehabilitation, knowledge of the breakthroughs in cardiac research, and the infrastructure and facilities to operate a state-of-the-art cardiac care center.

Other inputs to the process include preventive care, educational programs in heart health, accurate and clear patient-provider communication strategies, and collaborations with eminent medical institutions to offer patients the best-shared knowledge and skills, all infused with the spirit of compassion. The latter quality is of note because it is at the root of the patient-provider relationship.

It is not without reason that the heart is a multifaceted entity: it beats for medical science and research, it beats for technology, but it also beats with equal passion for philosophy, poetry, art, imagination, and emotions. A person with a heart health issue is not just a patient; they are people with personal, cultural, social, and psychological dimensions rooted in distinct soil. The cardiovascular specialist must understand these aspects and blend the science of care with the art of healing.

Studies have established that enabling heart patients to take charge of their health behaviors leads to positive results. Our Heart and Vascular Centre works on this affirmation of patient empowerment. It has earned us a leadership role in the region’s cardiac care, reiterating the rewards of our care ideology based on purpose, process, and outcome.

Cardiovascular care has evolved into highly diverse treatments that dramatically reduce mortality rates and are becoming more layered and progressive. The advancing technologies and interventionist methods, devices, and treatment modalities are concurrent with our deepening probe into the heart’s functioning, and this necessitates arriving at a balance in how we combine the best of both worlds.

It is an ongoing journey, and at our Heart and Vascular Centre, our cardiologists – among Dubai’s best experts, including pediatric cardiologists - integrate their skills and experience to diagnose and treat heart, lung, and chest-related conditions with the latest, most advanced invasive and non-invasive procedures paving the way for better outcomes for our patients.

We have travelled a long way listening to the heart clinically. The stethoscope, devised by Frenchman Rene Theophile Laennec in 1816, from a piece of hollow wood, tuned into the sounds of the heart and lungs and his descriptions of the sounds endure in the cardiology lexicon.

The heart’s rhythm continues to guide us onto farther horizons of treatment and care and in research and breakthroughs. A keen tuning into this sound inspires American Hospital Dubai Heart and Vascular Centre’s excellence in cardiac treatments that include interventional Cath lab procedures, advanced aortic arch operations, minimally invasive heart surgeries, heart valve repairs, beating heart bypass surgeries, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and more.

Andreas Vesalius, the 16th-century anatomist and physician, referred to the heart as the centre of life. We have situated the American Hospital Dubai Heart and Vascular Centre right there.

Authored by:

Sherif Beshara

Group Chief Executive Officer

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