A Safer Care Victoria and Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance Partnership
The Statewide Paediatric HealthPathways Project aims to support the delivery of better and safer care for children in general practice and reduce the pressure on hospital emergency departments.
The aims of the project were to:
- provide clear and concise best practice statewide and local referral pathways for paediatric consultations
- reduce inappropriate variation in GP paediatric clinical care through use of HealthPathways in conjunction with GP capacity building
- empower primary care services to better meet the needs of patients, their families and carers
- reduce emergency department presentations of paediatric patients who could be reasonably managed in primary care
- improve partnerships and collaborations between primary, secondary and tertiary providers of paediatric services across the state
- enhance relationships and coordination between primary and tertiary services delivering paediatric care across the state.
A range of Royal Children’s Hospital Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) have been translated into 29 new statewide care and referral pathways for use within general practice (referred to as HealthPathways). HealthPathways is a free, web-based tool with relevant, local and evidence-based information on the assessment and management of common clinical conditions, including referral guidance, clinical and patient resources.
29 clinical pathways and 16 associated referral pages that have been developed and cover the following clinical conditions:
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT)
- Unwell child
Referral pages outline essential referral criteria specified by each outpatient department and specialist department to improve the quality of referrals and reduce hospital wait times. These HealthPathways are the first of their kind across Australia and internationally.
The paediatric HealthPathways were written by GP clinical editors with input from over 150 GPs, hospital-based specialists, nurses, allied health professionals and other subject matter experts across Victoria.
The adoption of these HealthPathways within primary care aim to assist in increasing GP confidence in treating paediatric patients, improving the quality of referrals, reducing presentations to emergency departments by ensuring patients are appropriately managed within general practice, and reducing unwarranted variation in care across the state.