Health Pathways Implementation and Evaluation

Aim

The ACI is supporting three sites to implement and four sites to evaluate Health Pathways. Local services review and clarify their patient pathways between primary and specialist care and share the information on a reference website for health professionals. This process is aimed at improving patient management, assessment and referral through streamlined links between primary and secondary care clinicians and providing clear information for referrers.  

The Local Health District/Medicare Local sites that the ACI are supporting are the Central Coast, Hunter New England, Sydney and Western Sydney. 

Benefits

  • Creates clear referral pathways between services
  • Provides comprehensive service information for referring clinicians
  • Links clinicians to the appropriate best practice information
  • Increases the appropriateness, quality and timeliness of referrals to specialist services
  • Highlights opportunities for service improvement and redesign
  • Creates links between primary and secondary care clinicians

Summary

Health Pathways is a collaborative initiative between primary and secondary health providers to develop sustainable, clear, concise and localised pathways from a whole-of-system perspective. It provides:

  • A web-based information portal for referral pathways
  • Clinicians with information on how to assess and manage medical conditions
  • Details how to refer patients to local specialists and services in a timely manner
  • Service descriptions, contact information, clinical resources and guidelines.

Health Pathways was originally developed in Canterbury, New Zealand. In Australia, Hunter New England adopted the program in 2011. Other NSW sites have started to develop Health Pathways in 2013. The ACI is supporting 3 sites to implement (Central Coast, Sydney and Western Sydney) and four sites to evaluate Health Pathways (Hunter New England).

Each Local Health District and Medicare Local partnership form working groups made up of local clinicians with the aim of  identifying and documenting the pathway. This pathway is documented on the website so clinicians can access treatment and referral information. While defining the pathway, the working groups will identify opportunities to redesign and improve services.

The ACI is providing financial and redesign support to these sites and will evaluate the processes, outcomes and impact of the project to assess the appropriateness of Health Pathways in the NSW health system and to compare implementation factors that support the projects. 

Background

Western Sydney:

Central Coast:

Hunter New England:

Sydney will launch their website in early 2014. 

Partnerships

Medicare Locals:

  • Inner West Sydney
  • Western Sydney
  • Central Coast  NSW
  • Hunter Urban
  • Hunter Rural

Local Health Districts:

  • Sydney Local Health District
  • Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Central Coast Local Health District
  • Hunter New England Local Health District

Key Dates

Pilot Sites

The ACI is sponsoring 3 LHD/ML partnerships to implement Health Pathways and will interact with them over a two year period July 2013 to June 2015.

Central Coast Local Health DistrictCentral Coast Local Health District
Sydney Local Health DistrictSydney Local Health District
Western Sydney Local Health DistrictWestern Sydney Local Health District

Implementation Sites

Evaluation

The ACI is supporting 3 sites to implement Health Pathways. The ACI will evaluate the processes, outcomes and impacts of the project at these sites. This will include assessment of the processes used to successfully implement the program, a series of case studies to examine patient and system outcomes of specific pathways, an examination of the acceptability and usability of pathways by those that it is intended for, and an investigation into the impact of pathways on the NSW Health system. 

The ACI is also working with the Hunter New England Health service to evaluate its Health Pathways project. This has been operational for a period of two years and the evaluation is in three phases comprising an examination of processes, outcomes by case studies of specific pathways, and overall impact.

Related Initiatives

Further Details

Contact

Jennifer Parkin
Implementation Manager
jennifer.parkin@health.nsw.gov.au
9464 4651

Raj Verma
Director, Clinical Program Redesign and Innovation
raj.verma@health.nsw.gov.au
9464 4605

Page Top | Added: 4 December 2013 | Last modified: 5 December 2013

ACI
Status:
Contact:
Jennifer Parkin
Implementation Manager
Email
9464 4651
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