Media Release: 5 July 2013

A Compass Health campaign to get people’s heart health checked resulted in an additional 12,768 people having a coded cardiovascular risk assessment. This brings the percentage of eligible patients who have had a cardiovascular risk assessment up from 57% to 76% in the Capital and Coast DHB area and from 75% to 80% in the Wairarapa DHB area. The campaign benefited the high need population as well as the total population, with high need patients’ risk assessment rates increasing from 58.8% to 72.3% in Capital and Coast, and, from 71% to 76.1% in the Wairarapa. The campaign ran from 1 April to 1 July 2013.

Lynn McBain, chair of the Compass Health Clinical Quality Board, today thanked all general practice staff for their outstanding efforts noting that “this has been a team effort, involving nurses, GPs and administration staff all working together to get these risk assessments completed for the benefit of patients.” She added that the objective of a risk assessment is to provide those with a higher risk with lifestyle advice or medication to lower the likelihood they will have a heart attack or stroke.

The campaign also included a push to ensure that smokers are offered help to quit, and 9,325 smokers were given brief advice about cessation. The percentage of smokers provided with advice to quit increased over the three month period from 32% to 66% in CCDHB practices, and from 38% to 90% in the Wairarapa area. High need population rates increased to 66.2% in CCDHB and 91% in the Wairarapa.

Cardiovascular risk assessments are recommended every five years for those in the target groups, and those that missed out during the campaign can still arrange a risk assessment by calling their usual general practice.

For more information on the campaign please contact Nicky Hart, GM Practice Development: nicky.hart@compasshealth.org.nz, or phone 021 274 0012.