What is HealthPathways?
HealthPathways is an online local health information portal. It is a resource for General Practice, but could be used by hospital and primary care clinicians in the community. Information in the portal is peer reviewed and region specific.
- Service navigation
- Condition management
- Referral to specialists as appropriate
- Access to reference materials
- Access to patient educational resources
HealthPathways are developed and agreed by general practitioners, hospital clinicians, and a wide range of other health professionals involved in local patient care. HealthPathways is a collaboration between the Sydney North Primary Health Network (SNPHN) and the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD).
HealthPathways is dynamic, with new HealthPathways constantly under development and existing HealthPathways regularly reviewed in light of changing evidence, technology, and local circumstances.
Download the HealthPathways fact sheet here.
HealthPathways is not designed to be used by the public or by patients.
Why use HealthPathways?
The long term goal of HealthPathways programs are to improve patient access to the right care, in the right place at the right time and to better integrate primary and specialist systems of care.
The objectives of HealthPathways include:
- Supporting general practitioners to better manage patients in the community
- Improving care between general practice and hospitals
- Providing locally relevant information for general practitioners and other clinical registered health service providers
- Designing HealthPathways that are quick and simple to use
What is the process for deciding on HealthPathways priorities?
A number of broad topic areas (workstreams), informed by the SNPHN needs assessment, have been identified for initial pathway development. Through consultation, these have been endorsed via joint SNPHN/NSLHD governance processes. Further workstreams will be identified for development in future. Selection criteria for workstreams includes relevance to local general practitioners, significance for hospital supply and demand, and impact on the community. Further consideration is given to prioritising areas with existing work, readiness and available expertise.
Current Workstreams include:
- Aboriginal Health
- Aged Care
- Child and Youth Health / Paediatrics
- Hospital in the Home
- Mental Health / Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Palliative Care
- Pregnancy / Shared Antenatal Care
- Sexual Health
Within each stream, there may be many potential HealthPathways. Opportunities exist for clinicians to propose pathway priorities within current workstreams via the HealthPathways portal.
Who develops HealthPathways?
The HealthPathways are written by local GPs with support from a local GP Clinical Lead and GP Clinical Editors. The research and writing undertaken for HealthPathways is supported by contemporary and locally agreed clinical guidelines. Consultation with hospital specialists and allied health practitioners is facilitated where appropriate to inform alignment of condition management, referral from primary care into hospital health services, and discharge back to primary care.
When will HealthPathways be available for use in North Sydney?
The Sydney North HealthPathways (SNHP) portal is in the development phase and scheduled to ‘Go Live’ in May 2017. Meanwhile, we encourage clinicians to engage with the SNHP Team in developing HealthPathways in preparation for the ‘Go Live’ phase.
Who can get involved and what opportunities exist?
Any local clinician can get involved. There are a number of ways to get involved in development of HealthPathways, including:
- Work group participation
Workgroups involve a selection of local primary and hospital based clinicians. They come together to discuss issues that impact on delivering optimum patient care within clinical topic areas. Participating in a workgroup discussion helps to inform content for pathway development. Workshops are two hour events. Work groups do not write HealthPathways.
- Reviewing HealthPathways
Clinicians can get involved by reviewing draft HealthPathways, and providing feedback. Draft HealthPathways are posted electronically on the HealthPathways portal. The HealthPathways Team can provide you with a username and password to access the site. You can decide on which draft HealthPathways you want to review, and provide feedback online at anytime.
- Proposing HealthPathways
Clinicians can propose need for HealthPathways on topics which sit within the workstreams in progress. Proposals for HealthPathways may be submitted via the HealthPathways portal.
Potential Impact of using HealthPathways
HealthPathways in conjunction with other service delivery initiatives can result in:
- More appropriate utilisation of hospital services.
- Increased usage of undersubscribed and unknown local services.
- Reduction in inappropriate referrals to services as GP management is enhanced and referral criteria is clarified.
- Unified local response to new treatments and health issues. E.g. – Zika virus.
- A decrease in emergency attendances.
For further information, contact the Sydney North HealthPathways team (SNHP) below via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Carey, Integration/HealthPathways Manager – SNPHN
Martyn Brookes, Program Manager – Integration & System Innovation | NSLHD Performance, Integration & Innovation
Matthew Clancy, HealthPathways Project Coordinator – SNPHN
Chelsea Martin, HealthPathways Project Support Officer – SNPHN