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Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center

Managing Patient Expectations - Clinic vs Research


Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center - Clinic

The objective of the Vanderbilt Autonomic Clinic is to identify and diagnose autonomic disorders in patients. Appointments are made through consultation requests from the patient’s current primary physician or specialists. These visits will be billed to the patient or their insurance provider.
 
As a patient of Vanderbilt’s Autonomic Clinic you will be scheduled for an outpatient clinic visit (45-60 min) with a specialist in Autonomic Nervous System disorders. This specialist will run autonomic reflex testing in the clinic & review your symptom history. Following this appointment, more extensive testing may be ordered to further evaluate symptoms. This might require an average of 1-3 days stay in  Nashville and will be completed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. With these combined results your specialist will discuss with you diagnoses that have been determined. If applicable, you will be given a treatment plan that may include medication and suggested lifestyle changes. Your results, including treatment plan, will be sent to your current Primary Care Provider to facilitate continued treatment once you leave the Vanderbilt facility. Your Vanderbilt specialist will not be your long-term caregiver, but will work directly with your PCP to provide direction as needed.

 Purpose of Testing = Patient Care for diagnosis & prognosis
  • Development of Treatment plan
  • Costs – Charged to Patient/Insurance
  • Autonomic Function Testing with Brief Tilt
  • A physician consult lasting 45-60 minutes
  • 1-3 day time commitment
 
Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center -Research
 The objective of the Vanderbilt Autonomic Clinical Research Program is to conduct further research that contributes to the understanding of the causes of autonomic disorders and developing treatment options for autonomic disorders. The research-based testing is at no expense to patient, as the physicians and scientists at Vanderbilt successfully apply for research grant funds to support this work. The initial clinical evaluation and non-research tests may be charged to you and your insurance. You can be referred to this program either by a physician or self-refer with this application form.

Autonomic Dysfunction Center Initial Questionnaire 

As a voluntary participant of the Vanderbilt Autonomic Clinical Research Program you will be scheduled to check into the facility for a minimum of 23 hours. This initial period will be used for preliminary testing & to determine eligibility for study participation. This initial period can be viewed as a more extensive clinic visit. Once deemed eligible for the Research Program, the extent of your stay will be established and travel arrangements can be adjusted.   During your stay in the Clinical Research Center (CRC) you will take part in thoroughly discussed autonomic studies in a safe and controlled environment. You will be required to give written consent for each particular study before it is performed, and you will have the option to decline any studies in which you do not want to participate. 
 
The Clinical Research Center is an excellent research unit. The nursing staff has received the highest patient satisfaction rating of all nursing units in the hospital and also the best rating among similar research units across the nation.
 
As a clinical research participant, you will be contributing to research about your disorder, as well as gaining a more thorough understanding of your specific condition. During your stay, you will have a generous amount of individualized time with a variety of autonomic specialists. This will give you an invaluable opportunity to ask questions and gather knowledge about your disorder. Your visit will conclude with an overview of the study’s results given by your Attending Physician with a suggested treatment plan including medication, lifestyle, dietary, and exercise options. A summary of your results, including treatment plan, will be sent to your current Primary Care Provider to facilitate continued treatment once you leave the Vanderbilt facility. Your Vanderbilt specialist will not be your long-term caregiver, but will work directly with your PCP to provide direction as needed.

How Does a Patient Benefit from the Research Study Participation?
  • Excellent clinical characterization of patient physiology in a controlled situation that may include: (much of which may be without charge to you)
    • Detailed medical history and physical examination
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Autonomic Function Testing
    • Posture study with lying and standing norepinephrine levels
    • Brief tilt test
    • Cardiac output (non-invasive)
    • Quantitative Sweat Testing (QSART)
    • Total blood volume
    • 24 hour heart rate and blood pressure monitor
  • Second opinion about your diagnosis
  • Significant time to discuss condition with providers expert in this area (both doctors and nurses) during rounds.
  • Instructions on daily living routines provided by a staff of experineced registered nurses at the bedside.
  • Extended opportunities for questions and answers.
  • Private hospital room with bath and special diet during the stay are provided.  One adult relative is allowed to stay in the room.
  • Potentially new or improved treatment plan.
  • Satisfaction gained from contribution to body of knowledge about his/her condition
  • Written discharge instructions.
 
 

This page was last updated September 23, 2013 and is maintained by