What was the Patient Flow Partnership?
The goal of the Patient Flow Partnership (the Partnership) was to improve patient access and flow through removal of bottlenecks within the patient journey. The 12 month initiative is funded by Better Care Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Health and Wellbeing division, supporting activity at 15 Victorian health services. The Partnership commenced in February 2018, and will conclude in February 2019. To govern the Partnership, a steering committee has been established which includes consumers, health service CEOs, clinicians, nurses, Ambulance Victoria, and DHHS.
Better Care Victoria’s Partnership methodology is a sharing-focussed learning system, where health services are given opportunities to convene regularly, sharing their experiences and lessons learned. Funding is provided to all partnership services to support recruitment of a full time Project Lead for the 12 month period. Mentoring and capability development is provided by three industry coaches – experts in improvement methodology and project management – who are employed full time to work directly with health services for the duration of the Partnership.
Why was the Patient Flow Partnership been established?
Health services are experiencing growing numbers of presentations to emergency departments, and increasing complexity of presentations. As waiting for treatment has detrimental effects on patient outcomes, the focus on access to emergency departments is critical in ensuring Victorians have access to the care that they require. However emergency departments do not operate in isolation and delays here are often symptomatic of blockages elsewhere along the patient journey. A patient flow focus guides participating health services to explore opportunities for improvement across the care continuum.
What were the objectives of the Patient Flow Partnership?
The Partnership aimed to improve patient flow, enabling health services to provide attention and care to new presentations more rapidly without sacrificing the quality of treatment. Participating services worked towards improving against state wide performance targets and individual initiative targets. Supplementary objectives included improvement capability development for participating health services, and creation of opportunities for health services to learn from and collaborate with one another.
Participating health services
15 health services from across Victoria participated in the Partnership:
- Albury Wodonga Health
- Austin Health
- Ballarat Health Services
- Bendigo Health Care
- Eastern Health
- Echuca Regional Health
- Goulburn Valley Health
- Latrobe Regional Health
- Mercy Health
- Northeast Health Wangaratta
- Peninsula Health
- Royal Children's Hospital
- South West Healthcare
- West Gippsland Healthcare Group
- Western Health
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