Professor Ben Freedman uses Topbar prompts and screenings to increase identification and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
Pen CS is working with Heart Research Institute cardiologist Professor Ben Freedman OAM, Dr Nicole Lowres and the research team at the University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre to find a way to cost effectively and efficiently screen for Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in General Practices. Read BMJ article dated 13th Oct 2018.
Stroke costs the Australian healthcare system approximately $874 million, with AF accounting for almost one-third of all strokes. AF affects at least 240,000 Australians, with the risk of developing it, increasing rapidly with age. It is estimated that between 1.4% and 1.6% of Australians over 65 years have undiagnosed AF, as it is often asymptomatic. However, appropriate treatment can assist in reducing the risk of AF-related stroke by 64%.
Pen CS’ Topbar is an automated decision support platform for medical practitioners. Topbar is located on the Doctor’s desktop, providing an advanced method of supporting patient care during consultation. Topbar is discrete but consistently in front of the medical practitioner at all times. This positioning enables Topbar to be a unique method of supporting research programs and the medical practitioner.
Together with Professor Ben Freedman, an ‘Atrial Fibrillation’ Topbar App was developed to prompt the Doctor when a presenting patient matched guidelines that recommend screening for AF. Outcomes included:
- better identification of AF patients
- increased screening for AF with the intent of reducing stroke.
The AF Topbar App provides an automated notification to clinicians when a patient is eligible to be screened. If there is a possible risk of AF in a patient, the App provides electronic decision support to help guide treatment.
The Topbar App overcomes the issue of undiagnosed AF by providing a way to cost effectively screen and identify it. The automated notification allows Doctors to easily understand when a patient is eligible for screening, and increases the effective prescribing of treatment for AF in accordance with national guidelines.
The use of the Topbar App shows a promising implementation strategy for AF screening in General Practices, without increasing work for Doctors.