The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted health services and led to indirect health consequences. Data shows a significant drop in the number of preventative health assessments in 2020, especially for services that could not be delivered via telehealth, such as Heart Health Checks.
Primary care clinicians face a backlog of patients in need of preventative and chronic disease related cardiovascular care. Even during a period of competing priorities, the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease has never been so critical.
After a period of lockdowns, health, family and economic pressures, it’s time to return our attention to the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.
At this time of increased health awareness, we are encouraging Australians to get back to looking after their heart health: a great place to start is by keeping up with regular medical appointments and speaking with their doctor about relevant medical tests.
This Heart Week we are encouraging health professionals to:
- Re-engage with patients about their heart health, including people coming in for a COVID-19 vaccination
- Engage with the broader general practice team to identify and recall at-risk patients, ensuring they have a Heart Health Check
- Support patients to better understand their risk of developing heart disease and what they can do to lower their risk
- Spread the word through local communities
Heart Health Check resources:
The Heart Foundation’s new Heart Health Check Toolkit is a one-stop digital resource designed to help general practice health professionals to assess and manage cardiovascular disease risk in line with the latest evidence and guidance.
The Toolkit features a range of tools and resources, including assessment and management templates, quality improvement tools, patient engagement resources and more.
Making the Heart Health Check easier to plan, recall and implement (as per the guidelines), means more at-risk patients will be identified and treated, ultimately lowering the morbidity and mortality of CVD in Australia.