Acute coronary syndromes affect thousands of Australians each year. It is estimated that 69,900 people aged 25 and over had a heart attack in 2011, which equates to around 190 heart attacks a day. Coronary heart disease (the main cause of acute coronary syndromes) kills more people in Australia than any other disease, and contributed to 15 per cent of all deaths in 2011.1
While there are well-developed guidelines for managing acute coronary syndromes, not all people receive appropriate treatment and there is variation in the type of care received by people in metropolitan compared to non-metropolitan areas.2 There is also strong evidence that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience coronary events, such as heart attacks, at rates three times those of other Australians.3 Compared with other patients, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples admitted to hospital with acute coronary syndromes are twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease, while also experiencing lower levels of angiography and invasive procedures.4
The standard and accompanying resources were launched on 4 December 2014. Watch presentations from the launch of the Acute Coronary Syndrome Clinical Care Standard.
The Commission, in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health organisations, has developed resources to guide and support implementation of the Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard.
This resource provides guidance to clinicians and health service managers on delivering appropriate acute coronary syndromes care.
This resource provides a set of suggested indicators to assist with local implementation of the Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard. Clinicians and health services can use the indicators to monitor the implementation of quality statements, and support improvement as needed.
These resources can be used to promote and explain what the Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard means to health services, clinicians and patients and their carers.
Why do we need an Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard? These resources for clinicians and health services explain what each quality statement means, why it matters, and how use of the Clinical Care Standard could improve patient outcomes:
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s health 2014. Canberra: AIHW, 2014.
2. Chew DP, French J, Briffa TG, Hammett CJ, Ellis CJ, Ranasinghe I, et al. Acute coronary syndrome care across Australia and New Zealand: the SNAPSHOT ACS study. Medical Journal of Australia. 2013;199(3):185-91.
3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with coronary heart disease: further perspectives on health status and treatment. Canberra: AIHW, 2006.
4. Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2012 Report. Canberra: AHMAC, 2012.