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Strategy for the Design of Integrated Outpatient Services 2016-2020

Authors: Oliver Plunkett , Ita Hegarty, Colette Nugent, Trina Dunne, Vincent Crossan

Abstract Introduction: Much of the acute healthcare that Ireland’s population receives is delivered through outpatient services. It is a high volume, extremely busy environment with over 3.2 million attendances each year this can result in long queues building up to access these services.In the past in order to meet targets the practice has been to provide financial initiatives to treat patients waiting in excess of 12 months in a private setting. The analysis of data illustrates that this practice does not result in sustainable change.Decription of Policy context and objective: To ensure people can access a high quality, holistic integrated outpatient service when they need it.Targeted population: The target audience for the strategy document is aimed at all staff working across the health services who can work together to delvier a better outpatient service in IrelandHighlights: (Innovations, impact and outcomes) Agree and standardise clinical prioritisation access criteria, with clinically recommended timeframes for patients to be treated in outpatient services which will result in patients being seen in the right place at the right time.Develop ICT enabled standardised referral pathways with specialty-specific referral forms.The agreed information will then be used to provide Electronic Decision support for GP’s and sources of referral.Patients will be able to access a wider array of services from their own home through the use of telemedicine and virtual health solutions which will greatly enhance prevention and chronic disease management.The above list not an exhaustive list of highlight and many more initiatives will be discussed at the conference.Impact and outcomes: The patient will get treatment closer to home and quicker access to services thus removing any unnecessary anxiety.The GP’s will have access to more options to treat and gain advice.There will be less risk to the health services with patients spending less time waiting.Patients spending less time on the waiting list will be less likely to have their condition deteriorate reducing any costs on the health services.Comments on transferability? Communicating with all staff throughout the change processInvolving stakeholders across the health services working in togetherMonitoring the progress of projects using a best-practice project management systemBy auditing of the local implementation of initiatives.Carrying out patient satisfaction surveys to at first determine a baseline prior to the strategy and to track the benefit as change is embedded.Providing initiatives to healthcare staff and patients to buy in to the change programme Conclusion: The work of OSPIP has already resulted in 50% of patients seen in less than a year. The Strategy was launched on 18th November and many goals will be achieved by 8th May which will be presented and discussed at the conference.


integrated care, redesigned outpatient services, treatment closer to home

How to Cite:

Plunkett O, Hegarty I, Nugent C, Dunne T, Crossan V. Strategy for the Design of Integrated Outpatient Services 2016-2020. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A6.

DOI: on 17th October 2017