The Cardiology team helps people with heart related conditions. The team provides a range of diagnostic services, as well as intervention-based cardiology services.
What do we do?
People coming to hospital with cardiology (heart) related issues may be admitted as patients. There are a number of different areas in the hospital that manage cardiology issues.
These include the Coronary Care Unit or the general wards with telemetry (cardiac monitoring). The average length of stay for a cardiology condition is three days.
Who do we care for?
The cardiology team cares for adult patients with cardiac (heart) conditions.
Our team does not generally take over the care of people being treated by other public hospitals or cardiologists in the private sector.
Some cardiac conditions require referral to specialist services in Geelong or Melbourne; we may be asked by these services to provide some level of follow-up.
What can you expect?
Treatment of cardiac conditions may involve:
- Further tests to either confirm or rule out a particular diagnosis
- Intervention-based procedures, such as a coronary angiogram, cardioversion or pacemaker
- Medications to treat cardiology conditions and cardiac failure
- A combination of medications and lifestyle measures that reduce the risk of, or prevent, further problems due to heart disease or related conditions, such as stroke
- Rehabilitation programs
How can you access this service?
People are admitted as patients to the cardiology wards either via the Emergency Department or from our specialist clinics or diagnostic areas.
Commonly Asked Questions
When do the doctors visit?
The cardiology team do a ward round each morning. Rounds start typically in the coronary care unit and then move to the wards and Emergency Department.
What time is discharge?
Our team considers the needs for safe discharge from the beginning of your admission in order for you to return home safely. The team takes into account your discharge needs - for example your medications and discharge plan are organised the day before your intended departure.
Discharge is before 10:00am.
What happens after an admission?
The cardiology team will write a discharge summary, which is sent electronically to your nominated GP. Our team expect all patients to have a follow-up appointment with their GP, following discharge from hospital.
The cardiologist may ask for you to be referred to specialist clinics for follow up.
Patient fact sheets
It is our expectation that you will know the name of your condition/diagnosis. You should be able to access plain language fact sheets that help you understand your medical condition.
This may include finding out that your chest pain was not due to a cardiology cause.
Resources - Patient Fact Sheets
A referral requires minimum information. The essential demographic referral requirements are as outlined in the statewide referral guide.
Clinical information required as a minimum:
- Reason for referral
- Duration of symptoms and current symptoms
- Relevant pathology and imaging reports
- Past medical history
- Current Medications and allergies
Essential referral content is checked and you may be contacted if further information is required.
The referral is triaged by the specialist unit, according to clinical urgency. This determines how long the patient will have to wait for an appointment.
Patients with urgent conditions are scheduled to be seen within 30 days. Patients with routine conditions are given the next available appointment according to clinical need.
Some clinics offer an MBS-billed service. There is no-out-of-pocket expense to the patient.
MBS-billed services require a current referral to a named specialist - please provide your patient with a 12 month referral addressed to the specialist of your choice.
Please note that your patient may be seen by another specialist in that clinic, in order to speed up their treatment.
We may also divert patients to see a specialist with an interest or expertise in particular areas.
Clinics for specific conditions
Rapid Access Atrial Fibrillation Clinic
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia condition that increases the risk of stroke by nearly fivefold and contributes significantly to health system costs. With appropriate prescription of oral anticoagulants, the incidence of stroke can be dramatically reduced by 60 to 65 per cent.
Any patient with atrial fibrillation on ECG can be referred if they require assessment or commencement of anticoagulation and/or medical management of symptoms. Patients with established atrial fibrillation already managed by a cardiologist or physician are not for referral.
The Rapid Access Atrial Fibrillation Clinic will see patients within 14 days of referral, as part of Safer Care Victoria supported project in the region.
Patients will receive a cardiac pharmacist assessment of current medications and medical history followed by a physician consultation and generation of an AF management plan. The management plan will include referrals for further investigations/treatment as well as other specialist referrals if needed.
BHS is currently in the process of developing clinics to deal with specific conditions. We will update this information on the website when appropriate and notify the local medical community.
- Cardiothoracic surgery – consultation for referral to Melbourne or Geelong for Coronary Artery Bypass surgery and management of valvular heart disease
Please note: The times to assessment may vary depending on the triage. It is particularly important that we have enough information to be able to triage appropriately.
Referrals for stress tests that are sent to cardiology clinic will NOT be accepted, because GPs can refer for these tests directly without waiting for a clinic appointment.
Our team will NOT see people routinely for test results ordered by a GP, unless the test results accompany the patient. Our team have on many occasions reviewed a patient with a test result that was normal.
If you are concerned about the delay of an outpatient appointment or if there is any deterioration in the patient’s condition, please contact the Cardiology Registrar on call on 03 5320 4000.
Discussion with the registrar or sending a follow-up referral may save your patient a visit to the Emergency Department (ED).
Referrals from ED staff are triaged in the same way as referrals from GPs, with the clinical urgency rather than the source of the referral being taken into consideration.
After hours contacts
After hours the medical registrar is the appropriate contact - call BHS reception or the Cardiology Registrar on call on 03 5320 4000.
Ballarat Base Hospital Coronary Care Cath Lab 4 North
1 Drummond Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350
Cardiology Specialist Clinic
For more information about the Cardiology Specialist Clinic, click on the link below.
Cardiac Failure Clinic
For more information about the Cardiac Failure Clinic, click on the link below.
Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.