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New Cardiology Center Steps Up The Beat

How doctors and caregivers designed a top-notch cardiology center entirely around the patient journey.

Image credit: Arnaud Späni

Clinique Pasteur in Toulouse, France, a top-ranked European cardiology facility located in the heart of the city, has recently opened a brand new 11,000 m² extension dedicated to cardiology. The building, designed by the doctors and the other caregivers, aims to optimize the care of cardiology patients – many in fragile health and in need of emergency care – by bringing together all necessary services under one roof.

“Our intent was to place the patients at the center of the system and to facilitate patient access to care.” says Dr. Jean Fajadet, Interventional Cardiologist at Clinique Pasteur*.  “This meant designing the entire department based on the patient pathway from admission to discharge with the best possible flow.”

All patient services are concentrated within seven floors, from emergency reception for chest pain and intensive care, to hospitalization for short or medium stays and a dedicated pharmacy. Vertical circulation directly serves the surgical and interventional cardiology operating theaters as well as the medical imaging department. Patients are thus treated quickly, with optimized travel times and proximity to all dedicated caregivers and technical platforms.

Image credit: Arnaud Späni

“This new department is quite unique. We have now 8 interventional rooms working every day, treating patients for coronary interventions, but also structural heart, peripheral, endovascular and electrophysiology.” says Prof. Fajadet. The concept was to have total autonomy from the rest of the hospital, from the cath labs, pharmacy and the management of the devices, stents, catheters and balloons.

Quality imaging was also a key criterion as there has been a shift in recent years with increasingly complex interventional procedures. “We have seen an increase in indications of patients for coronary angioplasty, with patients having much more complex lesions: calcified, diffused disease, multi-vessel disease or poor left ventricular function.” says Prof. Fajadet. The same trend has followed into endovascular, structural and valvular, vascular and electrophysiology procedures. “When we consider the efficiency and the safety of our procedures for the patients, the quality of imaging is certainly the most important point in the cardiology department.” he adds.

“Clinical excellence and innovation are the two core values of this institution. This project is the culmination of a remarkable partnership with GE, which has been closely aligned with these essential values.” concludes Dr. Bernard Assoun, Cardiologist and CEO of Clinique Pasteur.

Having the possibility to fuse images from different modalities in a single screen has helped improve the accuracy of cardiology procedures and the quality of treatment offered to patients. Overlaying CT scan images with fluoroscopy, rotational angiography and 3D mapping brings tremendous value to the surgeons’ work.

Image credit: Arnaud Späni

Patients are the firsts to benefit from this new imaging set-up. “First is the planning of the procedure based on the CT scan. We are now more confident planning what we are going to do.” says Dr. Didier Tchetche, Interventional cardiologist, co-leader with Dr. Dumonteil of structural heart disease Program. This enables shorter and more reproducible procedures, and at the end better outcomes for the patients. “Second is the radiation dose reduction”.

“Our goal is to be able to treat with traditional procedures while also being part in new innovations” he concludes. “When a new device is available, we try to be the first teams to use it. It is about confirming the acquired knowledge but also contributing to the development of tomorrow’s healthcare innovation.”

 

* Dr. Fajadet is also co-leader with Dr. Bruno Farah of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) program at Clinique Pasteur, EuroPCR co-director, and past president of the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Intervention (EAPCI) executive committee