New 'car park' clinic for essential cardiac pacemaker checks

Our Cardiology team has come up with patient centred innovative solution to ensure cardiac patients receive vital pacemaker checks during COVID-19 – the Pacemaker Car Park Clinic! 

"Implantable cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators need to be regularly checked using a specialised programmer to ensure they are functioning correctly," says Jo McKenna, Chief Cardiac Physiologist 

"The batteries in these devices have a lifecycle of 5–15 years and need to be replaced before they reach end of life." 

In June 2019 the Cardiac Diagnostics team conducted 260 implantable cardiac device checks, this number has plummeted due to COVID-19 with only 155 checks performed in June 2020. 

"The drive-through clinic will enable patients to come to the hospital and have their implantable cardiac device checked without leaving their car," adds Jo.  

"It will help alleviate fears for patients who are concerned about coming into the hospitalIt will also help with social distancing in our department and decrease the foot traffic through the hospital."

The clinic commenced operating on the B1 level of the Austin Hospital car park this week.

The designated area for the clinic has been cordoned off to ensure that staff and patients are safe.