Clinical networks link groups of professionals and organisations from primary, secondary and tertiary care, shifting emphasis from institutional to patient needs and outcomes. One of the main aims of clinical networks is to facilitate best practice health care.
The Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network, Country Health South Australia (iCCnet CHSA) provides an integrated solution to ensure patients presenting to rural health facilities receive access to appropriate cardiac care. Solutions include clinical tools, resources and systems designed to support the practice of evidence-based acute cardiac care by practitioners, including remote area nurses, from a diverse range of backgrounds and with varying levels of experience and training. Point of Care Testing (PoCT) incorporated into clinical care with appropriate clinical pathways linked with 24 hour technical and Cardiologist support has been deployed throughout country hospitals in South Australia.
PoCT is managed by a group of clinical scientists who are responsible for ensuring the service is run within a quality framework. All sites perform quality control and external quality assurance to ensure results generated do not compromise patient care.
To evaluate the impact of iCCnet CHSA on patient outcomes, 30-day mortality among patients with myocardial infarction (MI) was evaluated. Results have shown the interventions introduced have led to a 22% reduction in 30-day mortality for MI.