Quality improvement: better care for patients with heart failure

Dr Amani Hanna from Lincolnville Medical Centre in Keilor East speaks with a patient
  7 May 2024  NWMPHN   

Heart failure is a serious condition that is sometimes poorly documented in general practice.

This can impact health outcomes for patients, through low referrals to echocardiography, poor use of guideline-recommended therapies and inappropriate or lack of use of medications.

To try to tackle this issue, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) developed a quality improvement activity that encourages general practice teams to identify potential heart failure patients who may not have had appropriate tests for diagnosis – or have not been coded appropriately in the medical records.

The team at Lincolnville Medical Centre in Keilor East was quick to trial the idea and chose an approach suggested in the activity template to double-check records.

The team focused on patients treated by Dr Amani Hanna, a long-term and very popular GP at the clinic.

The plan was to use clinical data to identify any patients with heart failure seen by Dr Hanna, and then contact them to offer a home medication review.

The clinic’s practice nurse, Sanjibani Dahal Regmi, identified 14 appropriate patients. Each one was offered a review.

One refused, 3 had already been through the review process in the recent past, and 2 were in hospital. The remaining 8, however, took up the opportunity, and, where needed, had their medication schedules adjusted to ensure optimum care.

With more than half of Dr Hanna’s heart failure patients reassessed and reassured, the quality improvement activity was seen as a success.

This process will now be extended to eligible patients treated by the other 11 GPs at the clinic.

NWMPHN’s heart failure quality improvement activity can be found here.

To see all of NWMPHN’s quality improvement activities, go here.

If you have questions or need support, NWMPHN’s Primary Health Care Improvement team is available to help. Email primarycare@nwmphn.org.au or complete this form, and you will receive a response within 2 business days. You can also call 9347 1188.