Being the first Australian HealthPathways team to reach 800 live pages made Christmas celebrations especially sweet for the HealthPathways Sydney team this year.
HealthPathways Program Manager, Paul Bennett says that the team can look back over the past six years with a lot of shared pride.
“As we’ve progressed along our HealthPathways journey, the team has matured into a highly functional and cohesive unit. Actively seeking innovation and improvement at a system level has become just part of the way we do things,” he says.
In their work to reach 800, there were several key success factors that made the difference, says Paul. These included:
- carefully prioritising pathway areas to develop once the majority of core pathways had been covered.
- identifying opportunities for pathway development out of the periodic review process e.g. reviewing sexual health suite and discovering useful un-localised pages in that area; localise at the same time.
- liaising closely with CESPHN and SLHD program teams and clinical services to identify and develop new pathways to meet the unique needs of the local area, using the new pathway development process where required.
- developing pathways in response to critical system changes/events to empower local primary care providers to better manage lesser known conditions in general practice e.g. Transgender healthcare.
“Expanding pathway content to include less common medical conditions or more challenging conditions has allowed the programme to engage with a wider audience who perhaps would not have used HealthPathways otherwise,” says Paul.
“This expansion further serves to better engage with a wider network of subject matter experts, overall increasing the local investment in the HealthPathways Sydney programme,” he says.
Challenges overcome...and lessons learned
The Sydney team have overcome many significant challenges along the way. In particular, the team have reflected on the following in terms of added value and lessons learned:
- SME engagement – consistently adapting and trialling new methods of engagement; capitalising on existing relationships via the PHN and extending networks within SLHD to engage responsive SMEs.
- Balancing priorities between periodic review cycle and new developments – having delineated processes for each of these streams so they can work synergistically and the workload of one does not impact the other.
- HealthPathways Style Manual – investing the time to adapt to the new conventions.
One key lesson learned was that HealthPathways teams benefit from employing a mixed skillset across their core programme staff, including clinical editors.
“We are very fortunate to have such a truly multidisciplinary team at hand. In addition to the broad experience offered by general practitioner and registrar clinical editors, the HealthPathways Sydney team incorporates nursing, pharmacy, and clinical dietetic backgrounds which brings a well-rounded perspective to each pathway.”
While a huge number of people have contributed to the development of the 800 pages over the past six years, the HealthPathways team themselves deserve special recognition, says Dr Michael Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Central and Eastern Sydney PHN:
- Paul Bennett – Program Manager
- Dr Kate George – Lead Clinical Editor
- Cameron Stewart – Project Officer
- Teena Kaur – Administration Officer
- Tammy Shapiro – Reviews Project Officer
- Dr Margot Woods – Clinical Editor
- Dr Lara Mihaljevic – Clinical Editor
- Dr Anna Samecki – Clinical Editor
- Dr Nick De Rosa – Clinical Editor
- Dr Michael Meagher – GP Registrar, Clinical Editor
“We also pay tribute to previous team members and clinical editors who were invaluable along the way,” he says.
“Returning from a 10 week sabbatical to hear that the team had hit the 800 milestone was such a wonderful surprise and fantastic way to end off the 2019 working year,” says Paul.
The HealthPathways Sydney team celebrate at their end of year dinner.
Standing (left to right): Teena Kaur, Administration Officer; Dr Kate George, Lead Clinical Editor; Dr Michael Meagher, GP Registrar, Clinical Editor; Dr Nicholas De Rosa, Clinical Editor; Sarah Friend, SLHD e-referral Project Officer.
Seated (left to right): Dr Anna Samecki, Clinical Editor; Cameron Stewart, Project Officer; Tammy Shapiro, Reviews Project Officer; Paul Bennett, Program Manager; Dr Margot Woods, Clinical Editor; Dr Lara Mihaljevic, Clinical Editor.
Having reached the 800 milestone, the Sydney team aren’t wasting any time, and already have a clear view of their priorities for the next 3-6 months, says Paul. These include:
- prioritising the remaining areas of new development – Urology, Wound Care, Plastics / Hand Surgery, Ophthalmology, Vascular Surgery, Andrology, ENT / Head and Neck, Upper Gastrointestinal.
- implementing recommendations from the formal Evaluation of the HealthPathways Sydney programme – including extending engagement in high priority geographic areas.
- refining the formal review process utilising a prioritisation approach to drive review progression.
“With this work in hand, we’ll be well on the way to our 900-page milestone,” he says.
The benefits and rewards of the 800-page resource are spread throughout the local Sydney primary care community, says Dr Moore.
“CESPHN values HealthPathways Sydney as a key tool in integrated care, and we are delighted they have hit this milestone. With over 900 health care providers accessing HealthPathways Sydney every month, it is a firmly established resource for optimising patient care,” he says.
Building local engagement
For tips and resources to help you build HealthPathways engagement in your area, see Getting General Practice Engaged with HealthPathways, or Engagement and Education. These resources have been provided by members of the HealthPathways Community.