H:S Bispebjerg Hospital is a large hospital in the City of Copenhagen with a catchment area of 130,000 people. The Head of the Department of Cardiology received the national guidelines on CCR when published in 1997 and appointed a local working group to evaluate the existing outpatient ambulatory follow-up service.
The local working group found several areas requiring revision or extension according to Denmark’s guidelines on CCR, and a local report written in Danish on implementation of CCR was prepared in October 1997. Because the guidelines on CCR did not describe the elements of the CCR intervention in detail, the local report described the core components thoroughly. The hospital administrators widely accepted the proposed local CCR programme. The hospital’s regional and national collaborators also focused on the local programme because the hospital was Denmark’s national model for a health-promoting hospital. Clinical experience on CCR needs to be collected in Denmark because it has little practical and scientific experience with CCR, and describing the reorganization thoroughly was given high priority.
The local CCR programme and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit at H:S Bispebjerg Hospital were founded as a project in late 1999. In the following years, the project was carefully adjusted in relation to the prepared scientific protocol, and effort was made to maintain the intervention as described throughout the study period. Despite this effort, the local CCR programme went through several typical development phases.
The project was established with a fixed duration of 3 years for organizational and evaluation purposes. When the project ended after the 3 years in March 2003, the local CCR programme described here was implemented as a full CCR service with only minor changes.