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HealthPathways SA – responsive pathways of care across the continuum

We’ve seen a 15.5% increase in clinicians accessing HealthPathways

Wellbeing SA, Adelaide PHN and Country SA PHN are jointly responsible for implementing HealthPathways across South Australia to support consistent care and management of health conditions and to improve the health outcomes and journey of patients through our local health system.

This continues to be a highly collaborative project and the pathways added this year were written by our GP Clinical Editors with input from 29 GPs, hospital-based specialists, nurses, allied health professionals and other subject matter experts.

HealthPathways SA in 2021/2022 by the numbers:

  • 250 pathways are now available on the platform.

  • There were 3,924 users, with the number of clinicians accessing HealthPathways SA increasing by 15.5% compared to the previous years.

  • More than 78,000 page views were achieved.

  • 48 pathways were localised.

  • 291 pathways were adapted for South Australian clinicians.

  • Two additional GP Clinical Editors and an additional Clinical Coordinator were onboarded, enhancing the program’s ability to deliver on key objectives and improve care.

Other highlights throughout the year included:

COVID-19 pathways

We rapidly developed and launched six new COVID-19 pathways and information pages, taking the total suite to nine. Care of COVID-19 patients in the community and post-COVID-19 syndrome pathways have been the most viewed pathways for the year, along with COVID-19 positive referrals and isolation supports.

HealthPathways also stood up a dedicated team of experienced GP Clinical Editors and Clinical Coordinators as the COVID-19 response and local model of care evolved and as cases increased. We partnered with the SA Health COVID-19 GP Liaison Team as well as the HealthPathways international community to provide clinical assessment, management and referral information. The pathways continue to be well received and were continually highlighted within SA Health and RACGP COVID-19 webinars.

Child and youth mental health pathways

Nine child and youth mental health pathways were launched, providing support for clinicians to support families and young people experiencing anxiety, depression, psychosis and suicidal ideation in primary care.

The pathways outline unique assessment and management tools and defines local child and youth mental health referral criteria for the entire state. The eagerly awaited eating disorders in children and adolescents pathway is currently in development and will round off our commitment under the Towards Wellness Plan 2021-2025.

Perinatal mental health pathways

Perinatal mental health pathways were completed in partnership with local experts from SA Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Perinatal Mental Health Services.

The pathways provide users with nationally consistent screening tools and early referral options and community-based supports for expectant and new mothers experiencing perinatal depression.

Reviews and updates

Formal review and updates of 114 clinical, resource and referral pages were undertaken, with a further 39 pages scheduled for review over the coming year.

Complex and commonly referred conditions or symptoms

Development of more than 30 pathways relating to complex/multifaceted and commonly referred conditions or symptoms. The most utilised new pathways include Cellulitis and Erysipelas in Adults, Unexpected Deterioration in an Older Person and Parkinson’s Disease.

Dementia care

Improved dementia care and support was identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety as an area for immediate action. In response, the Department of Health and Aged Care has commissioned Primary Health Networks, in collaboration with Dementia Australia, to develop and support access to nationally consistent aged care and dementia pathways via the HealthPathways SA platform. This is to assist people to navigate the complex systems through which care and support is provided.

Older persons pathways

In 2021/2022, a further four older persons health pathways went live, with 18 other older persons or related pathways under review or in development. Curated palliative care pathways are in their final stages of editing and will be launched in late 2022.

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