Health services under siege: the case for clinical process redesign

Tony J O’Connell, David I Ben-Tovim, Brian C McCaughan, Michael G Szwarcbord and Katherine M McGrath
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02009.x
Published online: 18 August 2008

In reply: We agree with Wilson and Collins. Community-based or ambulatory alternatives to admission to an acute facility are essential adjuncts to the redesign and increased bed capacity referred to in our article.1 The capital costs alone will be prohibitive if our only strategy is adding bed capacity. We see a significant shift in capacity from the acute to community sector as eminently amenable to redesign methods: to map current constraints (as the issue is not just inadequate community services), engage clinicians in changing their referral and treatment patterns, improve awareness of alternatives, identify new processes to facilitate use of the community as a viable alternative, and embed these new behaviours through easily accessible redesigned pathways.

  • Tony J O’Connell1
  • David I Ben-Tovim2
  • Brian C McCaughan3
  • Michael G Szwarcbord4,2
  • Katherine M McGrath1

  • 1 NSW Health, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 Sustainable Access Performance Taskforce, Department of Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 Acute Services, Southern Adelaide Health Service, Adelaide, SA.



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