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Specialist Clinics Access Policy Implementation Project Forum

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Specialist Clinics Access Policy Implementation Project Forum Thursday 22 nd May, 2014. GV Health serves a catchment of approx 120,000 people from Northern Victoria and Southern NSW Inpatient Services provided include: acute care, intensive care and emergency services,

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GV Health serves a catchment of approx 120,000 people from Northern Victoria and Southern NSW

  • Inpatient Services provided include:
  • acute care,
  • intensive care and
  • emergency services,
  • children's services,
  • maternity services, and
  • mental health services.
  • Specialist Clinics include:
  • Orthopaedic Consultant Services
  • Surgical Consultant Services,
  • Gynaecological (Women's Health) Services,
  • Paediatric Consultant Services,
  • Medical Consultant Services,
  • Satellite Services (visiting monthly or quarterly)

About GV Health...


Priority Areas for Implementation

1. Referral Acknowledgment

2. Communication with referrer about the findings of initial assessment/treatment

3. Discharge Summary sent to referrer and/or other provider


Clinical Nurse Specialists for triage limited

Intake Referral time is limited for admin staff

Room availability

Dr availability for triaging letters is not consistent


Project resourcing – additional staff have been recruited to support project initiatives

Discharge Summaries and Referral Acknowledgement – current process will not meet future KPIs


Implementation Action Plan

Project Governance:

1. Establish Project Steering Committee for SCAPI (Specialist Clinics Access Policy Implementation)


1. Recruitment of Clinical Nurse Specialists – Referral Triage

2. Recruitment of additional Customer Service Officers – to support increased

administrative workload

IT Solutions:

1. Reformatting of written communication to meet “SCAPI” requirements

2. Integration of communications with existing IT system – update emails with GPs


1. Education program for GPs and relevant Medical Staff on impacts of the policy

2. Develop and implement ongoing communication plan with referring medical


Policy & Procedures:

1. Develop and implement Orthopaedic Discharge Policy


Current Project Status


To be commenced

In progress


Key Initiatives: Referral Acknowledgement 6.8

GV Health’s current performance:

Letter sent to patient advising of placement to waiting list

If Cat 1- Appointment letter is sent

Daily Events list emailed to GP acknowledging referral received

Rejected/service not provided/more information required –letters generated by CNS


Found that events list is unreliable as GPs constantly moving practices

Referral rejection; further information required; service not available; reconsider referral letters need to be automated to save time

Project Plan:

Redesigning standard letter templates to meet Access Policy guidelines

Improved automation of such letters

Updated and improved referral guidelines for Health Professionals

Develop communication strategies with relevant stakeholders - Emergency Department and Medicare Local being main focus

Increase in staffing to allow more triage time


Key Initiatives: Clinical Prioritisation 7.3

GV Health’s current performance:

Intake referral nurses available for screening and triage

Implemented referral processing forms


Doctors unwilling to allow nurses to triage despite referral guidelines put into place

Doctors not always available for triaging of letters within recommended timeframe (ie: on leave visiting monthly etc)


Access Policy has given us a mandate to reject inappropriate referrals

Registrars also dictate letters back to referrer with alternative care options for inappropriate referrals, or those that can be managed by GP

Ultimately to improve access to our service we have improve our discharge process


Final slide

Next steps:

Finalising revised letter templates; consumer testing

Updating Patient Information brochure (version 4)

Developing communication with health professionals

Thank you for your time

SCAPI Project CNS:

Amanda Exton

Ph: (03) 5832 3600


SCAPI Project Support Officer:

Leanne Cecchin

Ph: 0400 141 062