The Cardiac Genetics Clinic: a model for multidisciplinary genomic medicine
Inherited heart disease can be well managed by preventive strategies if detected early. Building on an expanding body of literature on the contribution of hereditary heart disease to sudden cardiac death (SCD)1–3 and the well-validated principles of predictive gene testing in other single-gene disorders, the Cardiac Genetics Clinic (CGC) was formally established at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2007. Published data have supported the benefit of clinical screening in such clinics.4 However, detection of a causative mutation, where possible, also allows identification of individuals who are currently clinically unaffected.
The CGC embodies a multidisciplinary model for translating research into international best-practice care.5 This model exemplifies the translation of genetics to genomics in practice, and also aims to educate and inform individuals, allowing them to assume responsibility for their own ongoing care and health.
The CGC is a joint undertaking by the clinical genetics and cardiology units at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. It is managed by a cardiac trained nurse who performs telephone intake on all referrals, and as well as coordinating screening tests and collating relevant clinical information on individuals and their family members before the clinical appointment.