7.1 The FrameworkThe National Service Improvement Framework for Heart, Stroke and Vascular Disease (the Framework) was endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council in 2005.
The Framework describes the evidence base for the management of cardiovascular disease, covering prevention and risk identification, early identification and intervention, critical care, ongoing management and palliation. It then identifies critical interventions points across this spectrum (listed at Appendix A). It is an enabling document which can be used to both shape and monitor CVD strategies.
The Critical Intervention points in the Framework are divided into:
- Reduce Risks
- Early detection, care and support
- Best care and support for acute episodes
- Best long term care and support
- Best care in advanced stages
The Framework is intended as a high level guide for health services, and can assist in the development of effective programs for targeting CVD. While the Framework was not designed to directly replace clinical guidelines, it can be used for direction in developing future guidelines, processes and benchmarks.
The Framework is designed to reflect the continuum of care, from reducing risk before the diagnosis, through to the application of care in the advanced stages of illness. CVD and its related conditions are Australia’s largest health problem, though much of the burden of disease is preventable. The Framework highlights the importance of the identification and management of the risk factors for these conditions. Identification of multiple risk factors in an individual reduces life expectancy and increases health care costs. Management of the individual in recognition of the risk factors is critical to reducing the burden of disease.