ADHA Teams with University of Sydney on Cardio Health Pilot Program

The Australian Digital Health Agency and the University of Sydney have partnered on a pilot program to assess how the My Health Record platform can improve the cardiology service. 

The pilot aims to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of cardiology services, and if successful, may be scaled up to roll out across the country.

During the pilot, clinicians will access a person’s My Health Record when they present to the Rapid Access Cardiology Clinic at Westmead Hospital and draw on the information within the record to make quicker diagnosis and treatment decisions. It is expected that this will yield lower rates of hospital readmissions and avoid a rise in major adverse cardiac events, such as heart attacks.

Furthermore, the pilot, may also help to develop targeted cardiovascular disease prevention programs including lifestyle modifications to address common risk factors such as high blood pressure.

When appropriate, patients who attend a RACC may be given a management plan and allowed to go home without having to enter the hospital, saving emergency medical staff from admitting patients, organising urgent cardiologist assessments in the community and referring to GPs. Not only will hospital staff benefit from the reduced burden of chest pain care but patients will now have an alternative option to heading straight into emergency departments and prolonged hospital stays depending on their condition.

Peace of mind for consumers

The pilot offers the peace of mind that comes with knowing that test results and management care plans are available at a glance on My Health Record.

“I walked out of the Rapid Access Cardiology Clinic satisfied that I’d had a thorough health assessment and equipped with advice about how to reduce my risks at home,” consumer Simone Marschner said. 

“Knowing that my test results and management care plan are available at a glance, I do not have to remember or repeat details to my GP later on, which is invaluable.”

Other goals

Other goals of the pilot program aim to reduce duplicate testing and bolster support for communication among healthcare providers through the My Health Record shared healthy summary feature.

“We need all Australians to be aware of the prevalence of heart disease and the work left to do in improving our heart health. This program is a great example of how we can use digital technologies to meet this goal and deliver better health outcomes to all Australians,” says Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey.

“The study will attempt to understand and address existing barriers to the seamless flow of information along the patient journey and among healthcare providers. The results will be used to scope the feasibility of an innovative, cardiology-specific application that is populated with information from My Health Record to optimise patient care.”

Australia’s Health 2018 report revealed heart disease was the single leading cause of death in 2018 with 170 Australians aged 25 years and over having a heart attack every day. Last month it was revealed that more than two-thirds of Australian adults have risk factors for heart disease. 


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