An easy way to review patients at risk of cardiovascular disease

16 August 2011

The latest Clinical e-Audit from NPS allows GPs and GP registrars to quickly and easily target lipid-modifying therapy to those patients at increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk as part of a quality improvement cycle.

This desktop software program is part of a suite of electronic clinical audits developed by NPS. It features an attractive interface and allows for streamlined collection of data on patients’ risk factors and management. The intuitive feedback function provides GPs with immediate patient-specific feedback to help implement changes to their practice.  

NPS Clinical Adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says the electronic activity provides a structured method for GPs to look at the quality of their management of patients with or at risk of cardiovascular disease.

“GPs can quickly identify patients requiring an absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment and use this to guide their discussions with patients around lifestyle changes and initiation of or adherence to lipid-modifying drugs,” said Dr Stowasser.

A recent Australian study showed that GPs underestimated the absolute risk of a cardiovascular event. By using a validated risk tool, as recommended in this Clinical e-Audit, GPs can more accurately predict a patient’s risk of having a cardiovascular event and can direct lipid-modifying therapy to those who will benefit from it the most.

Specifically, participation in the CVD risk and lipid modifying therapy clinical e-audit 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 at increased absolute cardiovascular risk
  • clarify the role of ezetimibe as a second-line treatment option in reducing cardiovascular risk
  • assess adherence to lipid-modifying drugs and lifestyle changes during regular consultations with patients.

GPs are only required to review 10 patients to complete this activity.

Enrolment in all NPS clinical audits can now also be conveniently accessed via the RACGP Oxygen PrimaryCare Sidebar®, in the Quick Links section. By clicking on the clinical audit icon, GPs will be taken straight to the NPS enrolment pages and can choose from the suite of clinical audits available.

“The PrimaryCare Sidebar® offers a new way for GPs to access NPS clinical audits. It is part of our wider vision to improve the GP user experience, making it easier for them to take part in NPS activities and ultimately improve the quality use of medicines for their patients,” said Dr Stowasser.

GPs can either download the Clinical e-Audit tool to their desktop or order a CD pack containing the activity along with three other NPS Clinical e-Audits on management of hypertension, PPI prescribing and Type 2 diabetes.

Enrolment is ongoing, however to enable completion of the audit in the current Quality Prescribing Initiative cycle (ending 30 April 2012), GPs should submit initial phase data by 28 March 2012 and submit review phase data by 30 April 2012.

This Clinical e-Audit has been approved by the RACGP Quality Improvement & Continuing Professional Development Program for 40 category 1 points and by the ACRRM Professional Development Program for
30 PRPD points. It is also a recognised activity for the Quality Prescribing Initiative of the Practice Incentives Program in the current year (May 2011 to April 2012).

To view the range of clinical audits available from NPS visit www.nps.org.au/clinical_audit or for more information contact NPS at info@nps.org.au, or call Claire Green on (02) 8217 8700.

ENDS

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