Virtual CVRA tool making a difference in Te Awamutu


Te Awamutu Medical Centre is using the virtual cardiovascular risk assessment (CVRA) tool to enhance their Quality results.

The tool was developed by Midlands Health Network to ensure ongoing success against the national health target of 90 per cent more heart and diabetes checks.  The tool searches for 'not achieved' patient information for a current (within the past five years) blood pressure, non-fasting TC, HDL-C and HbA1c (or fasting glucose) data. When all of these are present, a Framingham score and/or diabetes risk is calculated and placed into lists for general practice staff to see and use. 

Practice administrator Kelly Hana regularly runs the reports and says they have processes in place to follow up the information.

"We print a list of patients that are coded 'not achieved'.  This is reviewed by the GPs as they know their patients the best. They determine if the patient needs to be contacted and if the clinical information such as height, weight and blood pressure can be identified from previous appointments or hospital visits in the last five years," says Kelly.  

"We previously had about 100 'not achieved' patients to follow up with each month. This number is now down to around 60 because of how we are using the virtual tool," she adds.

The practice team use the Patient Prompt to ensure clinicians are alerted to any gaps in the patient's health care.

"We make sure every contact counts. Our nurses have started reviewing information on all patients booked for an appointment each day prior to them arriving and arrange for blood tests and measurements to be taken if needed."

"We contact the high risk patients identified through the virtual CVRA tool to have a discussion with them.  They are usually happy to come in for an appointment," says Kelly. 

Breaking Quality targets down to small numbers and displaying these on a visual display helps ensure the practice team are on track.

"Each target is assigned a champion. The champion displays our weekly results as a percentage and as patient numbers on the board in a colour-coded format. We then discuss any red-flags in our morning huddles. It helps to split the big numbers down into smaller achievable numbers. 

"The champion also reminds others in the practice about how we are going and where additional attention is required using the 'task manager' feature in Medtech."

Kelly and the team have refined the processes over time.  She recommends clinicians keep their Patient Prompt open and says it is only a couple clicks of the computer mouse to get relevant information from the virtual CVRA tool. 

"We regularly check the tool to ensure no patient is left behind. Clinicians are asked to review and submit patients that have had recent measurements done but have not been seen in practice."

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