'BeAWARE': Supporting non-clinical staff within general practice to promptly identify patients presenting with warning signs of heart attack or stroke

Christopher Poulter, Michelle Stewart, Cliona Fitzpatrick, Wendy Keech, Bill Stavreski, Robert Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: General practice requires systems to deal with patients presenting with urgent needs. BeAWARE was developed to support non-clinical staff to promptly identify patients with symptoms of heart attack or stroke. Methods: Data were collected from May 2012 to December 2012 on participants completing the BeAWARE learning module, including pre- and postassessments on knowledge, confidence and intended action. Results: From May 2012 to December 2012, 1865 participants completed the module. There were significant increases in recall of heart attack and stroke symptoms among non-clinical participants, including chest tightness (23.4-48.7%, P <0.05), jaw pain (27.1-79.9% P <0.05), facial droop (43.2-87.7%, P <0.05) and slurred speech (69.7-90.9%, P <0.05), as well as a significant increase in intended action to 'immediately engage clinical staff' (64.1-74.8%, P <0.000). Discussion: BeAWARE fulfils a practice gap in patient safety by improving non-clinical staff's knowledge, confidence and intended action in response to patients presenting with heart attack or stroke warning signs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • General practice
  • Heart diseases
  • Jurisprudence
  • Medical receptionists
  • Quality improvement
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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