Simple changes with tremendous impact, recognizing the efforts of American Heart Month
As February progresses, the United States medical community focuses on American Heart Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the causes of heart disease and the preventive steps that can be taken to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Practice Fusion sat down with Dr. Khatore, a Ventura County Based cardiologist who has been treating patients for 21 years. The discussion revealed his experiences in the field of cardiology, his advice for maintaining a healthy heart, and his hopes for the future interactions of technology as it pertains to treating patients’ hearts.
Displaying a clear passion for his work, Dr. Khatore explained he is drawn to the fast-paced environment of cardiology where situations of emergency are the norm. He emphasized that he believes the most important component of practicing cardiology is the direct effect a doctor can have on a patient’s life. This can be in the form of medical treatment to correct a heart issue, or advice on a lifestyle change that betters a patient’s quality of life.
Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States1. This has become a very serious issue as lifestyle habits have transitioned and overall population wellness has decreased1. Those who have a family history of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure are at a heightened risk for heart disease1. Dr. Khatore emphasized that preventive measures can be taken to lessen this risk, such as managing nutrition, staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, consuming only a moderate level of alcohol, and staying away from tobacco products and smoking.
As with many fields of medicine, the integration of technology has created a space in the field of cardiology for rapid treatment transformation and heightened patient awareness and education. Dr. Khatore mentioned that while there have been momentous strides in the development of very intricate medical technologies for cardiology, some of the more user friendly, simple technologies can have the largest impact in improving daily patient life. Today, applications on phones remind patients to take their heart medicine or to get up and move when sitting idle for too long. Handheld technologies track heart rate and calorie burn during and after exercise. Technologies such as these, when acted on and used appropriately, are capable of tremendously improving a patient’s awareness of their heart health. These technologies become, as Dr. Khatore would say, an extension of a doctor’s recommendations and a friendly reminder to engage in activities that keep your heart healthy and strong.
When asked about the use of electronic health records for his cardiology practice, Dr. Khatore shared that the ability to accurately and immediately review a patient’s health history coupled with the ability to review and research things in real time while the patient is still present, has made the dissemination of information to patients more seamless, accurate, and effective. With electronic health records, tracking changes, or the lack thereof, becomes easier. Trends become more identifiable, and a patient’s overall health is organized and presented without the hassle of countless pages of documentation.
Heart Month addresses causes, but also presents itself as an opportunity to creatively search for solutions. With the integration of technology, from a simple patient user device to the professional medical tool, progress can continue to be made in the pursuit of eradicating heart disease and improving overall heart health.