Recent results have been very positive.
A new service in Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise is ensuring high-risk cardiac patients are seen within 48 hours, according to the Health Minister.
An Advanced Nurse Practitioner was recruited to improve patient access and continuity of care.
Since their introduction, the Department of Health says readmission for heart failure has reduced by over 80%, 418 bed days have been saved and most patients receive their consultant appointment inside a fortnight.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said:
"Patients and their carers in Laois are experiencing better access to services, as well as health outcomes and a better quality of life. Patients with or at risk of developing heart failure, or presenting to GPs with signs of heart failure, can now be seen and treated by an ANP and Consultant Cardiologist in the Rapid Risk Assessment Clinic.
In collaboration with the local community intervention team, patients can be reviewed and have blood tests done by a nurse in their home when required. Meanwhile an initiative introduced by the Heart Optimisation nurses is allowing for remote monitoring of patients’ blood pressure, heart rate and weight at home. These improvements in services are saving patients hours of travel time and expenses now that they can access care closer to home and avoid a trip to Portlaoise Hospital.”
With heart failure accounting for 5% of all emergency admissions in Ireland, this is a wonderful of example of Sláintecare reform delivering better outcomes and experiences of our health service for all.”
Recent results from the service show that:
- High-risk patients are now seen within 24 to 48 hours
- Most patients have an appointment within two weeks, while less urgent patients are seen within 3 to 4 weeks
- An estimated 418 bed days have been saved thanks to reduced hospital admission and shortened length of stay
- Readmission for heart failure has reduced by over 80% in patients attending the post discharge heart failure service