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New heart failure service to support WA community

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Curtin University has partnered with South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) to provide a new heart failure support service to enhance the lives of patients in the Perth south metropolitan region.

Funded by SMHS, the SmartHeart Living Well with Heart Failure service aims to improve the lives of heart failure patients and reduce hospital admissions by providing patients with community-based clinical support and regular examinations.

Associate Professor Andrew Maiorana from Curtin’s School of Physiotherapy said that SmartHeart patients were supported by a specialist heart failure service team.

“The team includes a nurse practitioner and/or a clinical nurse consultant, as well as the patient’s General Practitioner.

“We also have established links with the Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Service at Royal Perth Hospital who can provide support as required,” Associate Professor Maiorana said.

Ms Jille Burns, CHIRI’s nurse practitioner, said that each patient would receive a specialised care plan incorporating local support service resources and developed in consultation with the patient, their GP and other allied healthcare providers.

“The role of the SmartHeart nurse is to provide a follow-up service for patients to support their symptom control and to review their medications. Nurses will also assist patients to access other community related services including psychological support and exercise programs,” Ms Burns said.

“SmartHeart nurses will also coach patients in self-management strategies and provide a healthy lifestyle plan including dietary advice, weight monitoring and an exercise plan.”

SmartHeart is aligned with the Department of Health Western Australia’s Heart Failure Model of Care and incorporates evidence-based guidelines developed by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. The service was opened at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).

For further information about the SmartHeart Living Well with Heart Failure service, call 1300 632 657.

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