Teamwork key to treating complex neurovascular conditions
By Josh Brown
July 17, 2015
A team of doctors at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has established a forum that allows practitioners to come together routinely to discuss how best to care for patients with complex neurovascular conditions.
The doctors from a wide range of subspecialties launched the Neurovascular Conference in a bid to improve care and outcomes for patients being treated for brain and spinal conditions.
“The Neurovascular Conference is a perfect example of the multidisciplinary, collaborative atmosphere at Children’s Hospital that facilitates patient care and makes it a great place to work,” said Truc M. Le, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurological Surgery, a critical care physician at the hospital.
The conference grew out of a desire to increase communication between doctors such as neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, intensivists and other subspecialties that treat some of the same patients, said Lori Jordan, M.D. Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, a neurologist at the hospital and director of the Pediatric Stroke Program.
“For decades, there have been examples of similar conferences throughout medicine,” Jordan said.
Neuro-care physicians who participate in the conference wanted to approach their patients with the same collaboration, she said.
The team wrote about their success with the regular neurovascular conference in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Pediatric Neurology. In addition to helping doctors collaborate when treating patients, the conference also helped the team standardize care protocols and improve continuity of care in pediatric neurovascular disease.
Jay Wellons, M.D., MSPH, a professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics, said Children’s Hospital is one of only a handful of North American pediatric hospitals that has such a group.
Reviewing cases as a team allows the physicians to develop a personalized treatment plan informed by practitioners from a variety of specialties, Wellons said.
“Our team has spent time on your child, and this is what our combined experience and expertise recommends,” Wellons said. “That is a strong message to deliver to families.”