The Ramsay Way 2020 | 01 17
150 heart procedures
with TAVI at John Flynn
Surgeons at John Flynn Private Hospital have
reached a new cardiac milestone, implanting
their 150th percutaneous aortic heart valve.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) involves the
implantation of an artificial aortic valve into the heart via the
groin. This minimally-invasive surgical procedure replaces
the valve without the need to remove the old damaged
valve. The procedure may be performed on patients for
whom open heart surgery is considered risky.
Cardiologists can now offer percutaneous valve replacement
as an option to patients for whom major surgery would be
too high risk, such as elderly patients deemed too frail due
to their age.
Since the TAVI program began at the hospital nearly four
years ago, Drs Guy Wright-Smith, Shailesh Khatri and Ben
Anderson have seen a rapid growth in demand for this
procedure. Drs Tony Lai and Michael Greenwood have
now also commenced TAVI procedures at John Flynn
A dedicated Nurse Co-ordinator, Kerry Hedges, provides
expert care to patients and their families, giving them an
enhanced understanding of the procedure, what to expect
during their stay and follow up after discharge.
The cardiovascular lab at John Flynn Private Hospital
currently undertakes approximately 10 TAVI procedures
each month. Australian accreditation data indicates that the
hospital’s results are equal to or above the national average
in terms of timeline to procedure, procedural results and
New simulator mimics patient’s heart
to improve cardiac care at Greenslopes
A Greenslopes Private Hospital biomedical engineer has developed a new simulator to give nurses
better hands-on training in coronary care.
The Pacemaker Interactive ECG Training Simulator
replicates the behaviour of a real-life patient.
This provides practical training in the use of temporary
cardiac pacemakers, which help to get the heartbeat back
to a normal pace.
Biomedical engineer, Jan Oksiuta, said: “We can bypass
nurses practising on a real patient, by giving them a real-life
experience that can be done over and over again which will
enhance their textbook training.”
The simulator generates an electrocardiogram (ECG)
signal, which mimics the strength and activity of a real
During the simulation, the signal can be changed to
replicate different patient scenarios, giving nurses greater
confidence in troubleshooting and adjusting parameters on
the attached pacemaker.
Clinical facilitator, Clare Foster, asked for a simulator to
be developed to provide nurses with practical training in
addition to theory-based learning.
“The simulator will allow regular exposure to temporary
cardiac pacing, helping to ensure safe and competent care.
Many nurses are visual learners and the simulator supports
this way of learning,” Mrs Foster said.
It took two years for Mr Oksiuta to develop the technology;
he has worked as cardiac scientist in the past, with a
particular interest in pacemakers.
The engineer is also an electronic hobbyist in his spare time,
which helped him to put the simulator together.
“There is still some room for improvement. At the moment, it
just has analogue knobs on the front, so I would like to have
a digital display, maybe a touch screen. But for the purpose
of education, it’s probably as close as you can get to the real
thing,” Mr Oksiuta said.
Greenslopes Private Hospital is the only hospital in Australia
to be using this simulator; it has already been used by 20
nurses in training.
Nurse training on the simulator was made possible by
an innovation grant from the Gallipoli Medical Research
Foundation, secured by Clare Foster.
It is hoped the simulator will give nurses a better chance at
retaining knowledge in temporary cardiac pacing, with the
ability to refresh and practise their skills on a regular basis.
Greenslopes has extensive experience in delivering
comprehensive cardiac care. The hospital’s skilled surgeons
and nurses treat and care for a wide range of cardiovascular
and cardiotheracic conditions using the latest technology.
Ramsay Health Plus sites to double within three years
Ramsay Health Care is launching three new Ramsay Health Plus sites in 2020 to expand its supportive allied health services offering for patients and
Ramsay Health Plus (RHP) incorporates chronic disease
management programs, preventative health and wellbeing
programs, allied health services (such as physiotherapy) for
people who do not need to be admitted to hospital, and pre
and post-hospital treatments for a range of conditions.
By mid 2020, it is estimated Ramsay Health Plus will have
22 sites across Australia – double the number of sites first
established in 2017/18.
The three new sites set to open this year are located at
Masada Private Hospital, Figtree Private Hospital and John
Flynn Private Hospital. A stand-alone RHP clinic affiliated
with Donvale Rehabilitation Hospital will also be launched at
Ramsay Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Kate Munnings,
said: “RHP forms an important part of Ramsay Health
Care’s commitment to providing integrated, personalised
community-based healthcare solutions.”
RHP clinics are currently delivering 3,500 treatments each
month to patients throughout Australia.
At Ramsay Health Plus Noosa, up to 200 patients are
participating in hydrotherapy treatment each week.
Allied health manager, Kate Taylor, said: “Our patients
enjoy the health benefits and social aspect of coming to the
pool. The Ramsay Health Plus clinic is a central part of our
Ramsay Health Plus Hunters Hill has been operating for
just over a year and has tailored programs to suit specific
patient requirements including disease-specific small group
sessions, falls prevention, joint health and metabolic care.
One of latest RHP clinics to open was at Greenslopes, which
offers services including physiotherapy, dietetics, speech
pathology, occupational therapy, exercise physiology,
lymphoedema therapy and counselling.
Greenslopes Private Hospital, CEO, Christine Went said:
“The patients see great benefit in being able to return after
a hospital admission for allied health treatment to guide
A dedicated RHP website is currently being developed to
improve access to services for patients. The website will
be launched in April and include clinic profiles, service
information and educational blogs for patients.
RHP is continuing to explore new services specifically
focused on the areas of cancer, diabetes and arthritis.