Examples of what has been done

A policy consensus statement of heart failure care

Overview

 The National Heart Foundation of Australia developed a consensus statement that identifies policy recommendations and options to improve the care for patients with heart failure in Australia. It is aimed at various actors in the health system, including health professionals, policy makers and consumers.

What they did

The consensus statement: ‘A systematic approach to chronic heart failure care’ calls for urgent action on chronic heart failure (CHF).1 It has identified core principles and action-based recommendations required to drive a systematic approach to heart failure care in Australia.

The consensus statement is based on a literature review on best practices in heart failure care conducted by an expert panel.

It identifies four main themes and 5 principles: 1

Theme Principle
CHF care model Current evidence clearly identifies that accessible, multidisciplinary, guideline-based CHF care improves outcomes.
Access to meaningful data for management and benchmarking Collecting outcome data is the only accurate way of determining the effectiveness and cost of individual treatments; practice standards can then be based on up-to-date comparative effectiveness research.

Adequate patient information is a prerequisite for reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and medical errors.

Workforce planning An appropriately trained workforce with access to specialist cardiology support can deliver evidence-based care.
Research Research is essential to ensure an evidence base.

What they achieved?

Evidence on heart failure care suggests that the recommendations in the consensus statement have the potential to reduce emergency admissions, hospitalisations and mortality in HF patients.

Resources and other practical implications

The consensus statement identifies several implications for practice:

  • An effective CHF care model needs to be evidence-based, multidisciplinary and patient-centred. General Practitioners should take on a leading role in this model.
  • Access to CHF management programmes needs to be improved for particularly vulnerable groups, such as Aborigines, people in rural areas and those with a lower socioeconomic background.
  • Gaps in data and the identification of CHF patients need to be addressed and continuous research on CHF is needed to ensure optimum care for heart failure patients.

Links, references, and key reading

https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/201_03/pag00032.pdf

  1. Page K, Marwick T, Lee R, et al. A systematic approach to chronic heart failure care: a consensus statement. MJA 2014;201(3):146-50.