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HealthPathways: creating a pathway for health systems reform

journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Robinson, R Varhol, Colin BellColin Bell, F Quirk, L Durrington
Inefficiencies in the co-ordination and integration of primary and secondary care services in Australia, have led to increases in waiting times, unnecessary presentations to emergency departments and issues around poor discharge of patients. HealthPathways is a program developed in Canterbury, New Zealand, that builds relationships between General Practitioners and Specialists and uses information technology so that efficiency is maximised and the right patient is given the right care at the right time. Healthpathways is being implemented by a number of Medicare Locals across Australia however, little is known about the impact HealthPathways may have in Australia. This article provides a short description of HealthPathways and considers what it may offer in the Australian context and some of the barriers and facilitators to implementation. What is known about the topic? Early evidence on HealthPathways suggests that the program does seem to be strengthening relationships between GPs and secondary care specialists. In New Zealand advances in efficiency and system integration have been noted. However, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of HealthPathways in Australia. What does this paper add? It is one of the first published papers to provide a perspective around HealthPathways and draws existing evidence and research to explore some of the barriers and facilitators to the development and implementation of HealthPathways in Australia. What are the implications for practitioners'? Early evidence suggests HealthPathways could help GPs and other practitioners' in the delivery of health services, it could also help to strengthen practitioner relationships.



Australian health review






9 - 11


CSIRO Publishing


Sydney, N.S.W.







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, CSIRO