Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has welcomed the findings of the Sláintecare Integration Fund report which showed that a Sláintecare-funded project in West Waterford was significantly improving outcomes for patients with heart failure through integrated community-based interventions.
The report found that the Integrated Ambulatory Care Heart Failure Project in Dungarvan successfully reduced waiting times for referral and diagnosis for patients with heart failure from 18 months to 4 weeks.
The report also found that the project reduced echocardiogram waiting times for acute patients in the area to 1 day down from 3 days. The number of hospital admissions diverted exceeded targets set by 150%.
Other successes of the Dungarvan project included:
- Outreach Cardiac Diagnostic Service delivery impacted 161 individual patients.
- Outreach Cardiac Rhythm Management for immobile/long stay patients in nursing homes impacted an additional 132 patients (target was 50 patients).
- Integrated Model of Heart Failure care developed delivered in an appropriate primary care setting receiving 75 referrals (target was 40 referrals).
Commenting on the initiative, Minister Donnelly said, “To meet the needs of our growing population, Sláintecare is working to deliver the right care, at the right place, delivered at the right time, by the right team. Providing ongoing care and diagnostics in a primary care setting, such that it reduces presentations at emergency departments, is a major initiative of Sláintecare. It is excellent to see Sláintecare in action in Dungarvan, where the implementation of outpatient diagnostic appointments succeeded in diverting patients away from hospital settings and improving health outcomes for these patients.”
Norma Caples, Advanced Nurse Practitioner Heart Failure in Dungarvan said, “It is vital for patients with heart failure to have an early diagnosis and early implementation of evidenced based medication for heart failure. This, as well as saving lives and improving patient’s quality of life, also reduces the burden on our health care resources. Our team in Dungarvan have seen this in action. The funding we received from Sláintecare allowed our team to prove how vital this service is, and the continued funding will allow many more patients to attend the clinic and gain the life changing benefit. I am very proud to be part of this great team.”