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Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals.

Key takeaways

  • Research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) improves cardiac risk factor profile, reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of life.
  • To deliver an effective cardiac rehab service with optimal patient outcomes, health providers must ensure that they deliver evidence-based, high quality content and exercise prescription and consistently assess the impact of these interventions.
  • A Pathway to Cardiac Recovery: Standardised program content for Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation gives service providers a guide to deliver high-quality, evidence-based cardiac rehab programs.

The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) are well established. Cardiac rehab gives your patients personalised support, guidance and intervention to assist their recovery and support long-term lifestyle changes.

Research has shown that cardiac rehab improves cardiac risk factor profile, reduces hospital readmissions and improves quality of life. As a result, the Heart Foundation strongly recommends that all Australians are referred to and attend a cardiac rehab program after a heart event.

Evidence-based program guide for cardiac rehabilitation

To deliver an effective cardiac rehabilitation service with positive patient outcomes, health providers must ensure the information offered in their program is based upon best available evidence.

In 2019, an evidence-based and consensus-led standardised program of content for phase II cardiac rehab was developed for cardiac rehab providers. Download the Development of standardised programme content for phase II cardiac rehabilitation programmes in Australia using a modified Delphi process by Cartledge et al.

A Pathway to Cardiac Recovery: Standardised program content for Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation gives cardiac rehab service providers a guide to deliver standardised, high-quality, evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation programs either in person, or via telehealth or mobile health. 

Newly agreed cardiac rehabilitation quality indicators

In early 2020, a set of locally relevant and internationally recognised National Cardiac Rehabilitation Quality Indicators was published. The aim was to evaluate existing standards of care, identify opportunities for quality improvement and compare the performance of Australian cardiac rehabilitation programs to international standards.

These indicators will support healthcare providers to identify barriers and opportunities to increase cardiac rehab referral; improve delivery processes and patient outcomes; and help inform development of best practice and alternative models of service provision.

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

To find out about the National Cardiac Rehabilitation Quality Indicator Development Process read Cardiac Rehabilitation Quality in Australia: Proposed National Indicators for Field Testing.

How can I encourage my patients to attend cardiac rehabilitation?

As an effective intervention with short- and long-term benefit, cardiac rehab is an opportunity to support your patients’ recovery. The Heart Foundation has created several resources to help clinicians refer and encourage patients to attend an appropriate cardiac rehab program.

Cardiac Rehab Advocacy contains resources to help healthcare professionals advocate the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation to patients and promote cardiac rehab and heart failure services in their local area to increase participation rates.

Cardiac Rehab patient support resources contain educational videos and resources for patients to better understand and manage their heart condition.

Cardiac Services Directory gives a comprehensive list of cardiac rehab services across Australia so you can identify a local service to refer your patients to. Alternately, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12 to find local cardiac rehab services.

Visit our Cardiac Rehabilitation Patient Resource page for more information to promote cardiac rehab to patients.

Heart Foundation and Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) Position Statement on telehealth and cardiac rehabilitation

Participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program is a critical step in a person’s recovery from their heart attack or heart event. The Heart Foundation and the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association have developed a new position statement about the ongoing role of telehealth in cardiac rehabilitation service delivery.

To find out more, see the Position Statement on telehealth and cardiac rehabilitation, or download it here.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487320913379
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26442971/
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487320913379
  4. Cartledge S, Thomas E
  5. Cartledge S, Thomas E, Hollier K, et al. Development of standardised programme content for phase II cardiac rehabilitation programmes in Australia using a modified Delphi process. BMJ Open 2019;9:e032279. doi:10.1136/bmjopen2019-032279
 
 

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