Founder and CEO, Pumping Marvellous Foundation
Not all the answers are rooted in technology, and we don’t need any more data; let’s do what we know works. This approach would give patients gold standard treatment and care for their heart failure.
Signs, symptoms history and test
By checking a person’s signs, having an awareness of common symptoms, (breathlessness, fatigue and fluid swelling) and knowing the person’s medical history, we then have a simple blood test, NT-proBNP to use as a rule-out tool for heart failure. Put them together, and what do you get? An efficient and timely diagnosis. It is very important to diagnose heart failure early to improve people’s length of life and quality of life.
Get newly diagnosed people to the right team
The evidence indicates that treatment by a heart failure specialist in a hospital, results in mortality rates of 8%, whereas, without access to this level of care, they jump to 12.6%.
Let’s change the paradigm where the quality of life becomes a valued metric in the decision-making process around access to care and treatments in heart failure.
Every patient needs the right team to stabilise and optimally treat their heart failure. This team should include a cardiologist specialising in heart failure, a specialist heart failure nurse and an engaged GP when the patient is discharged from their specialist team.
Focus on the human need
We need to invest in what the patient wants and needs, not just decisions based around the length of life and the cost of hospital readmissions. At Pumping Marvellous, we know people with heart failure value quality of life generally over anything else. Let’s change the paradigm where the quality of life becomes a valued metric in the decision-making process around access to care and treatments in heart failure. It is vital to help people with heart failure achieve a better quality of life by assisting them to better manage their condition by recognising what do and when. Heart failure lives at home in the community, so let’s treat it there.