New online platform for heart patients

Flinders University has led the development and upgraded launch this month of a comprehensive suite of the latest cardiac rehabilitation information and resources online.

The aim of this has been to better treat patients with cardiovascular diseases, particularly those living in rural and remote areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory.  

The Country Health Attack Prevention Program, or CHAP Project, is tailor-made for recovery and secondary prevention support and aims to increase the neglected number of Australians who do not get the best regular benefit from organised cardiac rehabilitation support.  

CHAP program leader, Professor Robyn Clark, says education about risk management and reduction, exercise, diet, medications and other practical information is not available free for survivors of acute coronary syndrome, stable angina, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart failure and percutaneous coronary interventions.  

“This program aims to offer flexible, interactive, web-based information for patients to keep up their rehabilitation,” says Professor Clark.

Project researcher Katie Nesbitt says the CHAP Project team worked extensively with country patients to develop the web-based program with the right kind of evidence-based resources to suit men and women of all ages.  

She says the progressive rollout has been successful, with the latest version going online earlier this month (July 2023) after working with the Integrated Clinical Cardiovascular Network via their Country Access to Cardiac Health program, which provides telephone or face-to-face programs for eligible patients.  

“Importantly, this program will now have a self-enrolment function from hospital discharge, providing patients with a remote stand-alone or bridging program until they start a face-to-face or telephone service,” says Ms Nesbitt.  

“This means patients can access their cardiac rehabilitation education early and autonomously and country patients can do web or telephone or combination, with those eligible for face-to-face needing to live within 50km of that service.”   

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