HealthPathways

HealthPathways is a new digital platform offering referral pathway information that has been written for clinicians, by clinicians.

When someone visits their GP with an issue, they may be referred to specialist care in a secondary care setting. However, if this process isn’t standardised, it can create variation in the pathway that patients follow and they may be referred to hospital when they could be treated in the community.

HealthPathways gives clinicians instant access to care pathways and referral information to make sure that patients are offered the right care at the right time, and referred to specialists in secondary care settings only when appropriate. Fully responsive, the website can be accessed from any digitally-enabled device, ensuring that clinicians have equal access to best practice guidelines at all times.

Existing referral pathways are being rewritten by primary and secondary care subject matter expects in adherence to NICE guidelines. Comments from fellow clinicians are encouraged via a feedback button on each page, facilitating further sharing of expertise.

This evidence-based co-production is creating a more joined-up approach to patient care. This has enormous potential to have a positive impact on waiting times and length of stay while reducing the number of unnecessary outpatient appointments.

Information for clinicians

• All primary care clinicians in Cardiff and Vale UHB can request access to HealthPathways. For more information, or if you’d like to contribute to the co-production of new pathways, email: healthpathways@wales.nhs.uk

• Once you have the log-in, you can access HealthPathways at any time of day, anywhere, from any of your devices.

• As well as information about referral pathways, HealthPathways has useful contact details of relevant departments across the health board.

Transformation in action

Cardiff and Vale is an early adopter of the HealthPathways platform. The health board is working in close collaboration with Streamliners, who developed the product, alongside Canterbury DHB in New Zealand and South Tyneside CCG in Newcastle, who have both successfully implemented and embedded their version of HealthPathways.   

To date, 33 pathways have been published. Further work is planned for developing the next wave of pathways and recruiting more subject matter experts to create the content. There is also scope to include social prescribing and social care pathways.   

HealthPathways has the potential to improve patient experience, ease pressure on hospital sites and ensure that the core value of the Shaping Our Future Wellbeing transformation strategy was achieved: that a person’s chance of leading a healthy life should be the same wherever they live and whomever they are

 

Glossary

Primary care:  the first point of contact in the healthcare system. Primary care includes GP practices, dental care, optometry and community pharmacy.

Secondary care:  when a patient requires specialist knowledge or equipment for their care they are referred to secondary care, which is normally based in a hospital setting.  

Pathway: evidence-based information and/or quality standards that a clinician is guided by when making a referral.   

‘An Introduction to Health Pathways’ Session – 7th May 2019
“HealthPathways will be an invaluable resource in improving the quality of patient care in the community by ensuring that the advice and care afforded to our patients is the same whoever they are and wherever they are treated.”

Dr Sharon Hopkins
Executive Director of Transformation

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