• January 2019

    Baylor Scott & White Health: A collaborative team is the heart of this heart hospital

At Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano, a team of physicians and healthcare professionals work together in a multidisciplinary way to provide quality outcomes for their patients. These teams can include cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurse practitioners, radiologists, gerontologists, intensivists, hospitalists, pulmonologists, neurologists, research coordinators, social workers, chaplains, dietary teams, and pharmacologists — all working together to provide quality patient care.

Patients see and interact with up to six different physicians or specialists in a single visit. Each physician brings a unique expertise and insight to the case that helps formulate a meaningful treatment plan for the patient. This unified focus gives the patient evaluations, testing and multiple opinions all tied into one visit. Forget the traditional, cumbersome task of scheduling multiple visits with different doctors in numerous locations over a long period of time. This is one-stop shopping that provides convenience, expertise and access to transformative therapies, while ultimately saving time and improving the patient experience and care.

Robert Smith, MD, vice chairman of cardiovascular surgical services at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano, and David Brown, MD, president of medical staff affairs, described the interplay of the heart team members as similar to musicians producing a symphony. Each specialty plays a critical role in providing the best outcome.

The team brings together the art of patient care and the deep science of data-informed decision-making.

“Let us not forget that it is called the art and science of medicine for a reason,” Dr. Brown said.

A critical function of the heart team is providing a pre-habilitation strategy to patients who are critically ill and unable to tolerate an aggressive surgery. This involves optimizing health prior to surgery or intervention, so they are as healthy as they can be going into a procedure.

“This strategy has paid huge dividends on the back end because it gets them out of the hospital quickly and back up and on their feet much more quickly,” Dr. Smith said.

In utilizing this pre-habilitation strategy, the heart team brings together the unique expertise of different specialists to tailor treatment decisions for that individual patient’s specific care needs, symptoms and complexities. Together, the heart team collaborates with a single unified focus — to set the patient up for an optimal outcome.

“The result from the multiplicity of decisions is a decrease in patients’ risk, decrease in complication rates and morbidity, and overall decrease in mortality,” Dr. Brown said. “In fact, we talk about zero mortality.”