Posted on 30 Oct, 2023 in

News

How Consultlink Advice & Guidance is revolutionising patient referral experience and outpatient waitlist management.

Two weeks ago our lead Consultant in Health Service Management, Dr Daniel Jeffrey was invited by the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) to present at RACMA23 in Auckland. There he discussed the transformational work Consultmed has undertaken at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, dramatically reimagining how we think about outpatient and waitlist management, with real solutions (Consultlink Advice & GuidanceTM) to a host of previously “wicked” problems. Thank you to the College and audience for an enlightening conference and the hugely positive reception to the game changing results the Consultmed team is demonstrating. Dr Jeffrey is preparing a detailed article for an upcoming edition of the RACMA journal, The Quarterly (thanks again RACMA for the invitation!), however we wanted to share some highlights from the talk with you here today.

For the past few months our Consultmed digital referral platform has revolutionised paediatric referrals across New South Wales. It’s now easier than ever to make sure your patients get to the right place at the right time, and keep everyone updated with where the referral is up to. Our mission doesn’t just end with making referrals as easy as one-click however, we’ve also set our sights on managing the quality of referrals and addressing some of the systemic problems plaguing outpatient departments across the world. For a start, we’ve been piloting our Advice & GuidanceTM channel, Consultlink!

The Consultlink pilot study was conducted over the past six months and has achieved remarkable results. We successfully onboarded 195 clinics, spanning the full spectrum of medical, surgical, and allied health services, and registered thousands of GPs and specialist medical practitioners into the program. We undertook a review of nearly 5,000 referrals that came through the platform! Most excitingly 1,090 of these referrals were returned with A&G: a 22% safe reduction in outpatient visits. These are cases that would have otherwise resulted in an outpatient appointment, thereby clogging an already strained system. Instead, these patients received timely management guided by specialist advice in the community setting, averting the need for a hospital visit. Lower category patients don’t wait months to commence management, and more acutely unwell patients are seen sooner with a waitlist automatically reoriented around those most in need of tertiary care.

That’s not all, our dedicated A&G channel has demonstrated even more exciting results. Over the past three months, 156 requests for advice were submitted to our pilot clinic, which received 490 referrals over the same period. This translates into an impressive 32% safe reduction in outpatient referrals that were instead managed safely and asynchronously in the community.

This data strongly underlines the efficacy of A&G in significantly reducing the unprecedent and increasing demand on outpatient services. The benefit is twofold: it not only alleviates the pressure on overburdened outpatient departments but also expedites the provision of quality healthcare to patients in a community setting. The outcome is a win-win scenario, offering a scalable solution to a longstanding problem that directly impacts outpatient waiting lists.

 

We’re only just getting started with this journey and we can’t wait to share the exciting additional ways that A&G is being used to improve the healthcare experience of patients and clinicians across Australia.

 

 

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