A new campaign launched this week by WA Primary Health Alliance aims to educate Western Australians about heart failure, while encouraging people at risk to seek treatment early by talking to their GP.
While heart failure is a serious condition which affects close to half a million Australians, with the right treatment, support and strategies, people can stay well, active and out of hospital.
People with heart failure feature in the Know Your Heart campaign, allowing them to tell their personal stories of how getting the right treatment early has allowed them to keep doing the things they enjoy.
Consumer health advocate and campaign participant, Geoff Bartle, said having the symptoms treated early enabled him to resume bike riding, and travel to interesting places to explore and collect pieces for his expansive porcelain collection.
“It also means I have the energy to spend active quality time with my grandchildren.”
WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington said educating the public about the early symptoms of heart failure would lead to better health outcomes.
“It’s estimated that up to half of the 6,000 hospital admissions to WA hospitals each year could be avoided with improved management in primary care including self-management,” she said.
“The evidence clearly shows that early detection and treatment by your GP keeps people out of hospital, improves their health outcomes and gives them a better quality of life.”
The campaign video and further information about heart failure treatment and support is available on the NPS MedicineWise website via www.knowyourheart.org.au
Alongside the campaign, the Choosing Wisely 5 Questions to ask your doctor resource, will be shared with consumers.
Choosing Wisely Australia is a national initiative supporting consumers to make informed decisions in partnership with their healthcare professionals.
It has five questions for people to ask their doctor or other healthcare provider before they get any test, treatment or procedure and has been translated into multiple languages to support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
As well as the community awareness campaign, WA Primary Health Alliance has several other initiatives as part of its heart failure program, including:
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Masterclasses – classes that engage with subject matter experts to provide updates on the National Guidelines in treatment of chronic heart failure, which requires education and upskilling in medication management for GPs, pharmacists and communality pharmacists.
- GP Education Vignettes – a program using teaching vignettes developed by Curtin University and coaching follow up to enhance GPs’ management of chronic heart failure.
- Cockburn Heart Failure Rehabilitation Program – a program for the local community run by an accredited exercise physiologist supported by students undertaking clinical placement