Interior Heath: Heart patients create videos to help others

Technology, once again facilitates important strides in BC Interior health care

Two e-learning videos are now available to help people who have experienced a heart attack or are living with heart failure to understand and manage their health. This innovative project, a collaboration involving Interior Health patients and staff, was made possible through an innovation grant provided by Cardiac Services BC.

“This project was driven by the recognition that patients discharged from hospital did not always access conventional supports available to help them learn to manage their condition,” said Marie Hawkins, Network Director of Cardiac Services.  “We needed to find an alternate way to provide support that was both client friendly and easily accessible.  These interactive videos help fill that gap.”

Anyone with an internet connection can access the videos.  Patients can start the video modules in hospital and continue at home after they are discharged. They can also select the topics they wish to learn about and take quizzes to test their knowledge.

The “Living Well with Heart Failure” video provides valuable information for patients about heart failure as well as tips to manage the condition. The video “Surviving after a Heart Attack” explains what to expect after a heart attack, outlines steps to deal with future chest pains and offers tips for a heart healthier lifestyle.  The videos also provide information on outpatient services and supports.

“On behalf of Cardiac Services BC, I want to congratulate the staff and patients of Interior Health on the completion of this valuable e-learning tool,” said Pam Aikman, Assistant Provincial Executive Director of Cardiac Services BC, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. “A patient’s ability to self manage their own cardiac health is very important to achieving better health outcomes, and we’re delighted to support Interior Health in this endeavour.”

The seven-member Interior Health team responsible for creating these videos included four former heart patients. Patients identified the issues they wanted to learn about, provided feedback on the script and the visuals and also narrated parts of the video. Patients involved in the project felt they got as much out of the experience as they put into it.

“While working on the videos, I often reflected on my own experience after a heart attack. I remember thinking if these videos had been available when I had my heart attack they would have helped to relieve so much of my anxiety,” said Barb, former patient and member of the project team.  “Having a medical trauma is hard to get through but knowing there are tools to help can make it easier. I hope other heart patients get as much out of watching these videos as I did making them.”

The videos are hosted on BC’s Heart Failure Network website as well as the Interior Health website.