Stay up to date with CVD risk: Reflective learning activity for GPs now online

25 July 2013

With cardiovascular disease (CVD) causing a third of all deaths in Australia, NPS MedicineWise is encouraging GPs to stay up to date with their knowledge about CVD risk assessment and therapy.

Our recently updated Clinical e-Audit CVD risk – assessment and lipid-modifying therapy is now available to complete online.

The e-audit reflects recent updates to the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) guidelines for the management of absolute CVD risk which outlines an integrated approach to identifying and managing people at increased risk of CVD.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that cardiovascular risk assessment continues to be an important preventive health area for GPs and assessment based on on absolute risk will help identify and direct treatmemts to people at increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

“With cardiovascular disease a major cause of hospitalisations and responsible for approximately a third of all deaths in Australia (45,600 deaths in 2011) - we’ve relaunched the CVD risk audit to help GPs optimise the management of their patients with, or at increased risk of, CVD.

“We’ve heard that many GPs find online learning a very convenient way to support their ongoing professional development, especially for those practising outside of central metropolitan areas.”

NPS Medicinewise found that after completing this audit in 2012, 41% of GPs improved their practice in identifying patients for assessment of absolute CVD risk, and 45% changed their practice to discuss absolute CVD risk and/or use a risk tool with patients when providing advice on lifestyle modification.

“Now the audit is available online, we hope a new group of GPs will participate and demonstrate similar engagement with the new guidelines.”

GPs are required to review only 10 patients to complete this activity and the online format allows for data to be completed over any number of sessions at their convenience. The activity identifies where improvements in practice may need to be implemented for individual patients based on best practice clinical indicators.
Specifically, participation assists GPs to:

  • implement a systematic approach to identify patients for assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk
  • recognise the benefits of discussing absolute cardiovascular risk and using a risk tool when providing advice on relevant lifestyle modification
  • initiate lipid-modifying drugs for patients with high absolute cardiovascular risk
  • clarify the role of ezetimibe as a second-line treatment option in reducing cardiovascular risk; and
  • assess adherence to lipid-modifying drugs and lifestyle changes during regular consultations with patients.

The updated Clinical e-audit also forms part of a suite of activities from the latest NPS education program on preventive health in general practice.

Enrolment in this Clinical e-Audit is ongoing and available at www.nps.org.au/clinical_audits. Participation is free and the activity is recognised by the RACGP QI&CPD Program for 40 (Category 1) points and by the ACRRM PD Program for 30 PRPD points.

ENDS

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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