Lighthouse Project

The Lighthouse Hospital Project

What is the project?

The Lighthouse Hospital Project aims to drive change in the acute care setting through implementation of quality activities that improve care and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experiencing coronary heart disease (CHD).

Who does it involve?

The Lighthouse Hospital Project is a joint initiative of the Heart Foundation and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA).

The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme.

What is the problem we’re trying to fix?

There are disproportionate numbers of deaths from coronary heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is the leading cause of death among this population, who are 60% more likely to die from this condition. (AIHW 2014, Mortality and Life Expectancy of Indigenous Australians, (2008 to 2012) Cat No. IHW 140).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to be admitted to hospital for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) episodes (that is, heart attack or angina). While they have higher admission rates, they are more likely to die in hospital or leave against medical advice. (AIHW 2014, CHD and COPD in Indigenous Australians, Cat. No IHW 126).

Numbers at a glance:

Compared with non-Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are:

·         2 times as likely to have CHD

·         2.4 times as likely to be hospitalised for CHD

·         1.6 times as likely to die from CHD

·         Experiencing CHD at younger ages: in the 35-44 age group, 4.7 times as likely to report having CHD, and 7 times as likely to be hospitalised for CHD

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australia’s health 2016. Australia’s health series no. 15. Cat. No AUS 199. Canberra: AIHW)

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