As the burden of diabetes continues to increase, the need to deliver care in the most appropriate setting becomes more important, including ensuring that hospital services are accessible in a timely manner when required. In this context the Discharging Wisely project sought to address issues stemming from greatly increasing demand on the Western Health diabetes clinic at Sunshine Hospital. New approaches were implemented to increase the capacity of the clinic to see new referrals and better manage existing resources.
- Developed criteria-based discharge from the diabetes clinics.
- Clear thresholds for probable discharge were developed and implemented following consultation with Western Health endocrinologists.
- A diabetes educator reviewed clinic lists and identified patients that met the criteria.
- An alert card was used to notify clinicians which patients were recommended for discharge.
- Established a new attendance policy to ensure that clinic resources were used most appropriately.
- Produced communication tools and information sheets to provide GPs receiving discharged patients with appropriate and relevant support at the critical time of transition of care.
- This included an electronic management plan to support GPs to manage patients discharged from the clinic, with ongoing management advice and re-referral guidelines.