Australia's health care reform agenda: Implications for the nurses' role in chronic heart failure management

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Journal Article
Australian Critical Care, 2011, 24 (3), pp. 189 - 197
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Introduction: The importance of the nursing role in chronic heart failure (CHF) management is increasingly recognised. With the recent release of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) report in Australia, a review of nursing roles in CHF management is timely and appropriate. Aim: This paper aims to discuss the implications of the NHHRC report and nursing roles in the context of CHF management in Australia. Method: The electronic databases, Thomson Rheuters Web of Knowledge, Scopus and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), were searched using keywords including; "heart failure", "management", "Australia" and "nursing" In addition policy documents were reviewed including statements and reports from key professional organisations and Government Departments to identify issues impacting on nursing roles in CHF management. Results: There is a growing need for the prevention and control of chronic conditions, such as CHF. This involves an increasing emphasis on specialist cardiovascular nurses in community based settings, both in outreach and inreach health service models. This review has highlighted the need to base nursing roles on evidence based principles and identify the importance of the nursing role in coordinating and managing CHF care in both independent and collaborative practice settings. Conclusion: The importance of the nursing role in early chronic disease symptom recognition and implementing strategies to prevent further deterioration of individuals is crucial to improving health outcomes. Consideration should be given to ensure that evidence based principles are adopted in models of nursing care. © 2010 Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Ltd.
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