Illawarra Shoalhaven HealthPathways team update - Dr Louise Delaney
Dr Louise Delaney is stepping down from her role after six years as GP Clinical Editor with Illawarra Shoalhaven Health Pathways.
HealthPathways Illawarra Shoalhaven currently has 574 localised pages and is a trusted resource for healthcare professionals in the region which includes best practice clinical care and appropriate referrals.
Dr Delaney says it has been a privilege to be involved with the development of such a great resource from such an early stage.
"It would have been great without me, but I’m happy to take some credit as well, as it has been hard work and I take a huge amount of pride in this team," said Dr Delaney.
"Along with Steve Gibbeson, Program Manager and our wonderful Primary Health Network (PHN) and Local Health District (LHD) steering committee partnership, we’ve grown a team of highly effective GP clinical editors who approach their work with authenticity and their subject matter experts with a very happy mix of fearlessness, optimism and gratitude," she said.
"Our hospital specialist colleagues have equally stepped up and have responded to our intrusions with great humour and strong support. Our team has sometimes confronted them with questions on evidence, criticisms of service gaps and honest documentation of areas where we think we can all improve, and we have received consistent support, encouragement and generosity," Dr Delaney said.
When asked why she joined the team, Dr Delaney said she had attended the launch of HealthPathways for Illawarra Shoalhaven and was immediately convinced of the value of a platform documenting the locally agreed clinical practice and how to navigate the local health services.
"It looked to me like something that a health system should have been built around from the start. Listening to the presentations and experiencing the clinical working group sessions on the day, easily convinced me that this was an obvious way forward for our health system," said Dr Delaney.
"In my career, I have worked across a range of hospital and general practice locations and each time, have had to go through the process of discovering the local knowledge and referral pathways, slowly developing confidence and relationships in a system. Having HealthPathways in a region clearly accelerates this process for GPs and hospital clinicians and makes it so much easier to make good decisions," Dr Delaney said.
"Health Pathways is the first real opportunity I have seen for GPs at the coalface to actually influence change in their health environment and is a huge opportunity to develop trust and collaboration between primary and secondary care. Our system is often siloed, and there is duplication of care provision, lack of knowledge about available options and huge inefficiencies in navigating the system for patients," she said.
"Some GPs aren't confident contacting secondary services for advice or in providing the highest level of care possible within our scope. Having access to local clinical and referral pathways enables both of these things – confidence to make management decisions with our patients based on locally agreed guidance and confidence in the indications to seek advice or referral. This feels better as a health provider, but I believe, also increases the equity of access to secondary services for patients who actually need that level of care," said Dr Delaney.
Dr Louise Delaney will continue as an active member of the HealthPathways Clinical Advisory group.