Patient communication is more important than ever during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—especially when there is a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) to consider. Healthcare providers must work act with compassion and consider the patient’s values at all times, according to a new commentary published in Circulation.
“The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic is significantly impacting healthcare,” wrote lead author Caitlin Holt Siropaides, DO, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and colleagues. “Attention is drawn to the epicenters, but there are millions of cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients and providers attempting to navigate the system across the country. In this time of uncertainty, we struggle to communicate effectively with our patients, particularly with the transition to telehealth visits.”
Siropaides et al. noted that each patient’s goals of care should be addressed individually, and conversations surrounding those goals are “uniquely different” now because so much about COVID-19 remains unknown. For example, patients suffering from COVID-19 can decline at a rapid rate, meaning discussions about care need to occur much earlier than normal. Also, any potential knowledge gaps about the illness should be filled as quickly as possible; the more a patient understands about their situation, the better.