26 June 2020

We spoke with Dr Leah Curtis, a partner at the West Brunswick Clinic, about her experiences as a HealthPathways Melbourne user.

“I’m a partner in a medium sized GP-owned general practice in the inner north. I started working there as a GP registrar and then returned when I became fully qualified in 2007 and have worked there ever since.

“I initially found out about HealthPathways through the Primary Health Networks in 2015 and recommend the site to other GPs as the go-to place to find localised guidelines.

Profile image of Dr Leah Curtis

Dr Leah Curtis.

“I use HealthPathways when I hear of new referral processes, when I come across an unusual condition or a condition I haven’t managed for a while and just to read up on general topics.

“GPs are being asked to manage more and more conditions without specialist input, and with the ever-increasing specificity of referral guidelines to public hospitals, it is essential to have a simple and single point of reference.”

Leah is not the only GP at her clinic who uses HealthPathways. Her colleague’s experiences with the online resource are mainly very positive:

  • “I use HealthPathways all the time!”
  • “I use HealthPathways quite a bit, and even more now in telehealth consults where I can look without the patient always needing to know.”
  • “I use it quite often (probably at least a few times a week), sometimes during a consult to make sure I haven’t forgotten investigations etcetera. I find it very helpful.”

But there’s always room for improvement and the HealthPathways Melbourne team – which includes GP clinical editors and staff from Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network and North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network – are already taking the less positive feedback on board:

  • “There are some topics missing or they’re difficult to find but maybe I am expecting too much.”
  • “Needs more Melbourne specific pages, but the New Zealand ones are helpful too.” (HealthPathways was developed in New Zealand and has been adopted and adapted by Australian health systems)

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recently implemented Statewide Public Specialist Clinic Referral Criteria for the following six specialties: vascular, urology, ENT, neurology, gynaecology and gastroenterology. All statewide referral criteria are included in HealthPathways, helping GPs referring patients to public hospitals make sure their referral meets the criteria.

By the end of this year, DHHS will implement criteria for another five specialities: cardiology, endocrinology, ophthalmology, rheumatology and obstetrics. These will also be available on HealthPathways Melbourne.

Click here to access HealthPathways Melbourne.

Don’t have a login? Request access here or contact info@healthpathwaysmelbourne.org.au

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