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Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 1

Improving uptake of cardiac rehab

Stuart Stokes,

Commercial director,


Most older adults who are hospitalised for a heart attack don’t attend even one cardiac rehab session – this according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, which found fewer than a quarter attended at least one session, and only 5 per cent completed 36 sessions.

As a provider of software solutions for exercise referral, including Phase 4 cardiac rehab, I read these statistics with interest, because two of our customer sites – in Redbridge and Southwark – show a take-up of 70.5 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. Ninety-six people completed the Redbridge programme and 357 at Southwark.

It begs the question: how do other programmes enroll, monitor and correspond with their patients?

Many of the trusts and local authorities we assist work in conjunction with other lifestyle services funded by Public Health to offer a broader provision, including cardiac rehab. The Public Health team prescribes the data required, and there’s a long list; patients often feel they have to provide a lot of personal information. However, it’s vital they understand that this is essential to evaluating the full impact of the programme, as well as for securing future funding.

The data must also be made available to fitness instructors, so they can highlight improvements with these patients, empowering them and improving retention.

Regular patient contact is crucial, but following a heart attack there’s often a proliferation of appointments – it can be hard for patients to know who’s contacting them. Exercise referral software systems allow GPs to give patients a receipt clearly showing which services will be in touch, and their contact details. Furthermore, the cardiac rehab team can see appointments with other services, so there’s a complete view of patient care.

Instructors need access to patient data to show progress / PHOTOS:
Instructors need access to patient data to show progress/ PHOTOS:

Harness the power of beacons

Claire Elkin,

Partner Manager,

Gladstone Health and Leisure

I was very interested to read the article written by Bryan O’Rourke on beacon technology in the October issue of Health Club Management.

Operators are very aware of the extensive data their management systems can hold, and that this data can be interrogated to enhance the customer experience and increase revenue.

Knowing where your customers are, and being able to build a view of their habits and activity, is a very powerful tool.

While beacon technology may be considered by some to be an invasion of personal space, and there are barriers to downloading ever more apps and carrying smart devices everywhere, consumers’ expectations are forever changing – our industry has to embrace new trends.

If operators want to drill into the data gathered by their club management software, identifying a target audience and pushing out messages to leverage this extensive data, that’s entirely possible – but key to personalising these communications is the ability to track which customers are where, and when.

To this end, we work with non-contact tracking platforms such as RFID and contactless smart chip solutions, and last year we partnered with bounts – a fitness app that uses beacon technology to reward people for being active. This has been very successful where people have engaged with the app.

The next step will be the emergence into the mainstream of biometric tracking technologies using fingerprint and facial recognition.

Building a view of your customers’ habits is a very powerful tool / PHOTOS:
Building a view of your customers’ habits is a very powerful tool/ PHOTOS:
This month’s letters discuss improving uptake of cardio rehab, and how clubs can harness beacon technology
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