Reducing the Waitlist for a Rural Public Community Allied Health Department

Sarah Meney1
Gippsland Southern Health Service / Bass Coast Health1

ABSTRACT

Background or Problem/ Issue:

Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS) is a small regional health service, providing services to the South Gippsland Shire. The physiotherapy department at GSHS had a large waitlist. The STAT model of care has been recognised as a way of managing referrals in the metropolitan setting. This project aimed to determine if the STAT model of care could be used at GSHS to reduce and ultimately remove the physiotherapy waitlist.

Method or What you did?

An audit of physiotherapy referrals and the current waitlist was conducted. New appointment times were then scheduled for each clinician and bookings were made by Allied Health Assistants or our intake team. The waitlist was then monitored to track progress.

Results or Outcomes:

The physiotherapy waitlist reduced from 249 to 112 referrals in four months. All streams of physiotherapy referrals reduced over this time at twice the rate we expected. However, some referrals reduced at a faster rate than others. This was done with no additional resources.

Conclusions or Practice Implications:

The STAT model of care has successfully been used to reduce the physiotherapy department waitlist and is progressing well ahead of target. GSHS is already taking steps to implement the model in other departments.


BIOGRAPHY

I work at BCH as team leader of physiotherapy and allied health assistance. I completed this project in 2019 while studying my Master of Health Administration / MBA. At that time, I was working at GSHS as a physiotherapist. I also have an 18 month old daughter and volunteer regularly.

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