According to a recent United Kingdom (U.K) study, the number of patients aged 65 and above with significant heart disease now stands at 11.3 per cent. This number is projected to increase exponentially over the next few years due to the rapidly ageing population. National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) has been preparing itself to manage the surge and increasing complexities. Asst. Prof. Edgar Tay Lik Wui shares more about this new endeavour.
Team in Preparation
Over the last 10 years, the team at NUHCS has been strengthening its skills and infrastructure to manage heart valve disease, a unique and complex condition. It has since met the international criteria as a level- 1 comprehensive valve centre with expertise in transcatheter heart valve therapies, minimally invasive surgical treatment, three- dimensional echocardiographic imaging, structural computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging capability.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
At the Heart Valve Centre, a multidisciplinary team carefully evaluates large amounts of clinical data and a myriad of treatment options before recommending treatment strategies (with their inherent pros and cons) to patients. Patients at the centre benefit from an enhanced streamlined care process where they are guided by nurses and coordinators who assist them from initial contact to post- procedural care. Members of the multidisciplinary team also form their own information source and support.
Further Developments with Primary Care Providers
The centre's next phase of development will include the engagement of primary care providers to set up community programmes. This is to help to evaluate and monitor patients, as well as streamline referral processes. There will also be further public education and empowerment to be implemented in the next few years. Together, we strive to continue providing care for patients with heart valve disease in Singapore.
By: Asst. Prof Edgar Tay