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heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Cardiac Rehabilitation Advocacy

Key takeaways

  • Australian healthcare professionals often play a critical role in patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation through advocating for and referring patients to local services.
  • The Heart Foundation has designed videos to help healthcare professionals advocate the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation to patients to increase participation in these services. 
  • The collection of data on quality indicators contributes to regular monitoring and reporting of the quality and delivery of cardiac rehabilitation across Australia.
The Heart Foundation strongly recommends that all Australians who experience a heart event are referred to and attend a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehabilitation supports long-term lifestyle changes, improving patients’ quality of life and reducing hospital re-admissions.

Yet Australian rates of cardiac rehabilitation uptake are low: a recent study of 49,000 patients showed that only 30% of patients were referred to cardiac rehabilitation and of these only 28% attended. Healthcare professionals often play a critical role in patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation through advocating for and referring patients to local services.

Australian healthcare professionals also contribute to the continuous optimization of our healthcare systems by sharing the evidence-base of the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and promoting good practice in service delivery. This is vital to further develop and explore different models of cardiac rehabilitation that are responsive to the varying needs and demands of Australians recovering from and living with a heart condition.

Cardiac rehabilitation videos

The Heart Foundation has created videos of cardiologists and patients sharing their opinions and experiences of cardiac rehabilitation.

Use these resources to advocate for increased patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation, and to increase healthcare professional engagement and awareness of the importance of cardiac rehabilitation and its benefits.

Cardiac rehabilitation quality indicators

The service level data collection of quality indicators contributes to regular monitoring and reporting of the quality and delivery of cardiac rehabilitation across Australia. The 10 quality indicators for cardiac rehabilitation support healthcare providers to:

  • identify barriers and enablers to increase referral
  • improve delivery processes 
  • improve patient outcomes and 
  • inform best practice and alternative models of care

To find out what data your practice should be collecting, see the National Cardiac Rehabilitation Quality Indicators.

References 

  1. Astley CM, Chew DP, Keech W, Nicholls S, Beltrame J, Horsfall M, Tavella R, Tirimacco R, Clark RA. The Impact of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Programs on 12-Month Clinical Outcomes: A Linked Data Analysis. Heart Lung Circ. 2020 Mar;29(3):475-482. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2019.03.015. Epub 2019 Apr 12. PMID: 31072769.
 

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