Delivering the Best Care to the Right Patient at the Right Time
CHICAGO – There are two popular models when it comes to delivering the best healthcare – using evidence-based guidelines or applying personalized medicine. Each method has its own merits and drawbacks, but according to one Northwestern Medicine® cardiologist, when the two theories are integrated the result is an optimal healthcare delivery model that is both less expensive and better for the patient.
Goldberger’s research was published in a June 25, 2013 article* in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Evidence-based medicine dates back to ancient Greece but gained popularity in the 1990s. It consists of basing treatment on the body of clinical data and clinical trials available. Personalized medicine is tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, focusing on a patient’s family history, genetic testing, or other characteristics.
According to Goldberger, who is also a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, physicians should not follow one theory over the other. Instead, they should bring in personalized medicine to treat those subgroups not helped using evidence-based guidelines, he said.
“For example, many physicians administer a thrombolytic, or clot-dissolving drug, when someone is having a heart attack because the clinical data show those drugs help most patients,” Goldberger said. “However, for some older patients these drugs can cause a stroke, so it’s best to use personalized medicine to determine the best treatment for these older patients.”
“Cultivating a healthcare culture poised to explore these opportunities is critical, but it will entail active participation from a whole range of stakeholders, including physicians, insurers, regulators and healthcare organizations,” Goldberger added. “By combining both theories, we have a real opportunity to deliver more precise treatments to the exact patient population who needs it.”
In addition to his clinical practice and teaching, Goldberger is an editorial consultant and reviewer for more than 20 medical journals. His clinical interests include pacemakers, cardiac rhythm disorders, catheter ablation, implantable defibrillators and supraventricular tachycardia. Click here* to read Goldberger’s full JAMA article.
Northwestern Medicine is the shared vision that joins Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in a collaborative effort to transform medicine through quality healthcare, academic excellence and scientific discovery.
To learn more about cardiac care at Northwestern Memorial, or to find a physician, visit the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute website or call 312-926-0779.