Mid North Coast Seasonal Demand

Key clinical leaders from MNC primary and secondary sectors, supported by executives and staff within the Mid North Coast Local Health District and North Coast Primary Health Network, met in 2017 to discuss how best to manage the winter peak influenza and summer peak tourist demand placed on our region’s health services.

The range of activities agreed are now collectively known as ‘Seasonal Demand’ which has the common aim to better support people who are likely to have unplanned or avoidable hospitalisations. In 2018 both sectors are working to prevent winter exacerbations and identify common approaches that we can use throughout the year.

Key outcomes we hope this work will assist with include:

  • Improved health outcomes and patient experiences through more patient centric approaches or sharing information that increases clinical capacity and job satisfaction.
  • A reduction in the number of unplanned admissions to our Mid North Coast hospitals.
  • An improvement in the coordination of care between our primary and acute care teams.

Seasonal Demand consists of a number of activities, including:

A key principle agreed was to see individual patients as partners in managing their health and to ensure they obtain, process, and understand the various health care options or messages appropriate to their situation in support with their trusted GP, specialist, or allied health professional.

This is being launched in stages throughout winter 2018 and will implement a population-wide campaign to address infectious respiratory conditions and winter self-care.

As part of promoting proactive management of healthcare, there is a campaign to encourage the community to have a regular GP and to ensure that hospital and other providers are notified of who each patient’s GP is.

This offers targeted funding and support to interested general practices to facilitate a planned and proactive management of high intensity patients and reduce their likelihood of unplanned hospitalisation over winter 2018.

Key outcomes from this activity have been summarised in the Evaluation Report and Summary.

This includes Digital Health (My Health Record) and local initiatives that assist us to communicate better and jointly coordinate care for common patients moving from one provider safely to the care of another.

A revamp of the Green Card and GP Appointment processes in Hastings Macleay will help to provide clear guidance for patients and practices on when a GP appointment is needed and facilitate patients receiving the relevant care after a hospital admission.

An initiative that is working to improve information regarding referrals between services in the community in order to streamline processes.

Seasonal demand activities will also leverage off of NSW Ministry of Health initiatives such as ‘Leading Better Value Care’ which aims to better organise care and impact health outcomes and the experiences of patients, and identify opportunities to increase the return on current NSW Health investments.