Majority of MI patients discharged without follow-up advice

Australian guidelines universally recommend commencing preventive care – comprising proven pharmacotherapy, lifestyle advice and referral to rehabilitation – during initial hospital admission for people who have suffered an acute event. 

But a review of 4000 patients hospitalised following an event during a two week period in May 2012 revealed that many left hospital without appropriate preventive care. 

Just over a third (35%) of patients received dietary advice, 43% were given advice about physical activity, while less than three-quarters of smokers were told about the importance of smoking cessation. Only 46% were referred for rehabilitation. 

Some 35% of patients were on three or fewer medications at discharge, even though most of them should have been on five, the researchers said.

Although Australian guidelines recommend that all patients should be screened for depression, the study showed this only