Heart Health





Heart Health

Heart Health

Why focus on heart health checks?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in Australia. Modifiable CVD risk factors account for up to 90 per cent of the risk of myocardial infarction, indicating that CVD is largely preventable. General practitioners (GPs) play a crucial role in preventing CVD by assessing and managing their patients’ risk factors.

Impact of CVD in Australia

  • CVD is a major cause of death in Australia, responsible for one in four (26 per cent) of all deaths.
  • One in six Australians self-report as living with CVD, accounting for more than four million Australians.
  • Someone is hospitalised for CVD every minute, equating to a total of 1600 hospitalisations per day.

Source: Heart Foundation (21 February 2022), Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease, heartfoundation.org.au/activities-finding-or-opinion/key-stats-cardiovascular-disease


The Heart Health Check Quality Improvement Guide has been developed as part of the HeartConnect program, an ongoing collaborative initiative between the Sydney North Health Network (SNHN) and MQ Health. The HeartConnect program aims to:

  • improve outcomes for patients at risk of CVD by ensuring timely assessment, diagnosis, planning, management and treatment
  • provide rapid and reliable access to cardiology services
  • improve the experience of care for patients, GPs and cardiologists
  • improve the population CVD risk profile in the Northern Sydney PHN region
  • provide cost savings to the health system and society by reducing morbidity and mortality for patients presenting with CVD or risk factors
  • evaluate the impact of quality improvement in general practice in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) at Macquarie University.

Opportunities to get involved

You can use the Quality Improvement Guide as a resource for your own quality improvement activities at your practice.

You can also choose to collaborate more closely with the SNHN, MQ Health and the AIHI by:

  • using the HeartConnect Rapid Access Service, which includes GP access to cardiologist opinion via phone and to urgent cardiology appointments as indicated by the GP
  • requesting tailored education meetings with cardiologists (online or face-to-face)
  • participating in an evaluation study supported by AIHI researchers to analyse the impact of quality improvement in general practice on CVD risk across populations
  • participating in webinars and small group sessions with other general practices to share information, knowledge and experiences in a community of practice
  • seeking guidance on quality improvement and data analysis.

Cardiology Rapid Access Service

Available to all GPs in Northern Sydney:

  • Access to cardiologist opinion via phone
  • Access to urgent appointments as indicated by GP
  • Access to full suite of cardiac subspecialties and diagnostics
  • Collegial relationships with a cardiology team that supports primary care

Location of service: MQ Health Cardiology, Suite 203, 2 Technology Place, Macquarie University

For more information, email pcait@snhn.org.au and insert ‘HeartConnect Rapid Access’ in the email subject.

Heart Health Check Quality Improvement Guide

This Quality Improvement Guide includes a list of tools and references to help your practice implement Heart Health Checks.

For more information or to express interest in any of these opportunities, email pcait@snhn.org.au and insert ‘HeartConnect’ in the email subject.