Prof. Claire Mounier-Vehier and her team have been developing the Cœur–Artères–Femmes (Heart–Arteries–Women) integrated care pathway at University Hospital of Lille’s heart and lung institute for five years. The pathway has four objectives: - monitor medical care with discussions on practices, treatment optimizations and educational support
- Improve patient information
- Optimize training for healthcare professionals
- Set up clinical research trials This pathway targets - women at high or very high risk (according to the U.S. classification) who receive gynecological care, but not cardiovascular care
- women with cardiovascular risk factors whose hormone-based treatments need to be re-evaluated
- women who have a preconception checkup for an at-risk pregnancy (a woman with diabetes or hypertension, a woman receiving care for a congenital or acquired heart disease or a woman who has already had a high-risk pregnancy), or a follow-up appointment after a high-risk pregnancy
- women entering menopause who have a cardiovascular risk screening appointment Cross-functional teams have been established with the hospital that connect consulting physicians and pharmacists, with the general practitioner coordinating the care. Occupational health is a stakeholder with targeted detection for pregnancy and menopause. Patients are given prevention information through the media and regional conferences. An initial assessment identified the typical characteristics of a menopausal woman at risk for cardiovascular disease who has risk factors that are insufficiently screened, treated and controlled. Treatments were adjusted for these patients and they now have structured cardiovascular and gynecology follow-up care. A specific letter was sent to the gynecologist, primary care physician and patient to raise awareness about cardiovascular risk factors specific to women. The Cœur–Artères–Femmes (Heart–Arteries–Women) integrated care pathway has optimized practices between the various healthcare actors in private practice and hospital settings by also involving the patient in her treatment. In turn, she becomes an effective ambassador for prevention and treatment information when she talks about her innovative treatment with others. The Cœur–Artères–Femmes (Heart–Arteries–Women) pathway is one of University Hospital of Lille heart and lung institute’s flagship projects as part of its 2018-2022 institutional plan. The current goal is to replicate this initiative at other teaching hospitals in France with support from the Women’s Cardiovascular Healthcare Foundation (Agir pour le Coeur des Femmes) and actors in the healthcare ecosystem.