Brian Metz MD - Colorado Springs
Heart care is more than just cardiology to me. When you are taking care of someone’s heart you become good friends. I have long-standing patients and we both look forward to seeing each other and talking about their lives and mine. It goes beyond a clinical office appointment – it’s heart care and much more. Since I specialize in valvular heart disease, which is characterized by a defect or damage within one of the four heart valves, I use a number of diagnostic tools to investigate and learn. I also do a great deal to educate my patients during their time with me so they can understand the issues affecting their heart.
Cardiology is an advancing field in which we have the ability to do a great deal to support the heart and its issues. The cardiovascular technologies I use in today’s Cardiology are very exciting, including 3D Ultrasound, CAT scans, Nuclear Medicine for stress-testing, Echo Cardiography and Coronary Angiography. One of my favorite tools to use is the 3D Ultrasound. This tool allows me to see a three dimensional image of the heart in real time, which is very helpful in my practice it helps determine the timing of valve repair and how it should be done.
However, while many of these new tools are exciting, there are growing concerns about the increased amounts of radiation involved in these testing technologies. The 3D Ultrasound is an example of an advanced tool, which can give us detailed cardiac structural information without any radiation dose to the patient. CT and nuclear imaging protocols are constantly being improved to limit the dose of radiation, but still give excellent diagnostic evaluation of the coronary arteries.
In addition to the medical tool technology, Cardiology and medicine in general will continue to provide better care with the improvements in information technology that are beginning to spread across the country. There are inefficiencies of time and information management that will be advanced through systems such as Electronic Medical Records and improved communication. We can all look forward to standards of information, formats and record keeping that will provide instant and complete medical histories on patients as they interact with different physicians as well as multiple facilities. This has the potential to reduce errors, wait times, delays with medical transcriptions and consistency of prescribed medications. In the future, these may be the changes that have the most dramatic and welcomed effect on my practice and the practice of heart care.