Case study from Spotlight series

Virtual communication between general practitioners and heart failure specialists

27 April, 2020

The Heartbeat Trust in Ireland developed a virtual consultation service that enables general practitioners (GPs) to discuss heart failure (HF) cases with cardiologists in real time, reducing the need for referral to outpatient departments.

This service limits unnecessary travel for the person with HF and also increases GPs’ knowledge and confidence in managing HF. Over the initial 18 months of the service, only 17% of patients discussed in the virtual clinic needed a review in the outpatient department. The service has been running for more than two years, with virtual consultations taking place twice a week.


Gallagher J, James S, Keane C, et al. 2017. Heart Failure Virtual Consultation: bridging the gap of heart failure care in the community – A mixed-methods evaluation. ESC Heart Fail 4(3): 252-58

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