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In my opinion, the “standards of care” utilized currently in our healthcare system are pretty sad; they need to be redefined and changed.

A physical exam should entail more than just sticking out your tongue, stepping on a scale, having your knee tapped and blood taken for a non-specific goal.

That is equivalent to pulling into a gas station and having the attendant check just the oil to determine the current condition of your car.

The term “standards of care” is described as the comparison of a healthcare provider’s actions as measured against the standard of care active in the caregiver’s location or similar community.

In other words, comparing the service your doctor provides to the service another doctor in the same area provides. There is no room in that simple definition for understanding the patient through a comprehensive history, followed by a comprehensive physical, including neurological, structural, and biochemical evaluations.

Am I missing something here?

When a person sees a healthcare provider, the “standards of care” provided should allow the practitioner to understand completely that patient’s physical, emotional and environmental condition, and to then provide the highest form of healthcare available to resolve that patient’s complaint.

When the “standards of care” are applied to a basic blood lipid panel, the typical, non-specific blood profile is ordered by most practitioners. This profile consists of:

  • Cholesterol
  • Trigylcerides
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol

Looking at these biomarkers…the most familiar ones, does not give enough information about your cardiovascular health!

However, a more complete cardiovascular profile should include::

  • Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • LDL – particle sizes should be measured, not just LDL, i.e., VLDL
  • Serum lipid peroxides – to evaluate oxidized LDL particles
  • HDL
  • Apolipoprotein A
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • HsCRP
  • Homocysteine
  • Fibrinogen
  • Lipoprotein-associated Phospholipase A2
  • Myeloperoxidase (MPO) – Makes HDL unable to take cholesterol and fat out of the arteries
  • Vitamin D

The more detailed the evaluation, the greater the ability to assess and diagnose the health challenge. The above profile provides a more accurate look at heart health compared to the standard.

In addition, there are other biomarkers to look at when diagnosing and treating heart disease; these include markers to assess heart damage, inflammation, and diabetes.

No question, the standards of care are substandard.