Latest Community News

Aligning the vision: MidCentral Hospital HealthPathways

Published on 12 Aug, 2021 | Return|


Left to Right: 
Catherine Marshall, Programme Lead; Dr Amer Jaffal, Clinical Editor (Emergency Department Consultant); Dr David Sapsford, Senior Clinical Editor (Anaesthetist); Dr Stephen Rowlands, Clinical Editor (RMO Otolaryngology); Jackie Massicks, Administrator; Sue Dunn, Clinical Editor (Nurse Practitioner - Emergency Department); Robyn Smart, Coordinator; Michelle Harman, Clinical Editor (Specialty Nurse - Gastroenterology); Dr Thomas Carter, Clinical Editor (Emergency Department Consultant).

A whole of system vision for healthcare delivery was a key motivation for implementing Hospital HealthPathways for the Mid Central District Health Board (MDHB). 

“Our vision of linking primary and secondary health care services through implementing both Community and Hospital HealthPathways as a single consistent source of information for clinicians, enabling timely care and improving patient flow, means our communities will experience better health care outcomes and seamless pathways of care, plus a reduction in variability,” says Senior Clinical Editor, Dr David Sapsford.

Our overall aim is to provide consistent care, improving the patient journey and achieving a seamless “home to home” experience for the patient,” he says. 

“We also expect that our Hospital HealthPathways implementation will assist us in allocating resources and reduce re-admission to ED. In this way, we hope to rationalise care between primary and secondary care services, and optimise the patient journey.”

The new Hospital HealthPathways team look forward to addressing local challenges in healthcare delivery by developing pathways that will assist in standardising and optimising care within MDHB facilities, thereby reducing “bad” variation. Clinical decision-making support and advice on local processes for hospital clinicians is expected to be an essential part of alignment with the whole of system approach.

First steps towards local engagement

As they begin their Hospital HealthPathways journey, the new programme team will continue to take advantage of opportunities to socialise Hospital HealthPathways with clinical teams across the organisation, supported by robust clinical leadership.  Dr Sapsford will engage with teams to understand their requirements from the system. He wishes to make the Hospital HealthPathways team available to make the implementation a success (as measured by meaningful KPIs) by making Hospital HealthPathways a “first go to” tool for clinicians with direct patient contact. 

Strengthening linkages with the Whanganui & MidCentral Community HealthPathways team will also be a key focus, with collaborative meetings for clinical editors across both programmes.

Other priorities will include clinical editor training, developing the stakeholder engagement/communication plan, and working with the Streamliners technical writing team to localise the initial priority pathways.

Challenges that may need to be overcome are likely to include the ability of busy clinicians to allocate time for clinical editor work, and converting and reaching agreement on current embedded pathways into Hospital HealthPathways.

“Engaging widely across the hospital system to promote our new Hospital HealthPathways programme will be very important in building support, and encouraging its use by all hospital practitioners,” says Dr Sapsford.

Early stakeholder comments demonstrate that the new team are already making good progress towards building local engagement.

“I think Health Pathways might help us better allocate resources.” – Consultant

“The more I look at these pathways and consider what a fabulous resource this will be for all of us in our organisation, I am excited to be involved.” – Nurse Practitioner

The key benefit to the local health system of being able to offer both Community and Hospital HealthPathways, is that HealthPathways offers a seamless source of “one truth”, says MidCentral Hospital HealthPathways Programme Lead, Catherine Marshall.

“The website is intuitive and easy to use. We see the ability to move between Hospital and Community HealthPathways with one click as a very important strength for the programme.” 

More information

If you’d like to know more about Hospital HealthPathways, or if your health jurisdiction hasn’t yet joined the HealthPathways Community please: