Current initiatives of the GP Integration Unit

The GP Integration is connected to various initiatives. We would love to hear your feedback about how SALHN can improve how we work with GPs and how we engage with GPs.

If you'd like to provide input or would like to contribute to these projects, please contact us. We will also gladly arrange a face to face practice visit or online meeting if that suits you better.

GPIU face-to-face or online practice visits

Following positive feedback we received from earlier GP practice visits, we would love to hear what you have to say. This helps us improve how we work with and for GP practice teams and we will gladly arrange a face-to-face practice visit or online meeting if that suits you. Alternatively, please contact us by email or phone. Our contact details are available in the Contact your GP Integration Unit section.

Goals of care – ‘What matters to you’

SALHN is working on a “Goals of Care” whole-of-hospital initiative. This initiative aims to provide reliable and respectful healthcare which aligns with the needs and preferences of patients (and, where appropriate, their families and carers) i.e. “What matters to you?” (the patient). This work is co-designed with consumers and focuses particularly on transition points for patients, including from community to hospital and discharge back to the community.

We are keen to engage will all relevant stakeholders, including GPs. If you would like to know more or provide feedback in how this could be done to suit you best, please contact us and we can put you in touch with the clinical lead for the Goals of Care work at SALHN.

Improving clinical handover

Outpatient improvement activities

We have received a number of requests for information around how to best navigate outpatient services at SALHN and how to source information about a specific referral. 

Following this feedback, this new resource has been developed to include updated clinic contacts (fax and phone number for clerical enquiries), as well as direct hyperlinks to the relevant clinic pages. The clinics are now organised in sections for ease of navigation (eg Medical, Surgical, Mental Health, Paediatrics, Women's Health).

Following positive feedback, we will continue with this format and aim to keep the list continuously updated.

We are continuing to work with the Outpatient Department and clinical teams on improvement projects in the outpatients domain. This includes progressively incorporating each clinics referral information in their respective clinic page, like the Hypertension Clinic whose triage guideline and referral guideline were recently updated. Thank you for your understanding while this work is progressing.

We are also working to continually improve our processes for patients, their families and GP colleagues. 

'Referral hotline' for GP Practice teams - Seeking interest from GP Practices for pilot project

Based on feedback from GP Practice teams seeking easier access to referral and appointment information, the Outpatient Support Services team will be starting a pilot for a 'Referral hotline'. During an initial 4-week period, a dedicated phone number will be available at specified times. GP Staff will be able to call and check whether a referral has been received, triaged or appointed (this is not a clinical advice service). The learnings of this pilot project will inform longer term planning to facilitate access to referral and appointment information for GP staff. If you would like to be part of this trial, please contact the GPIU and we will link you with the project team.

Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) consultation

The SA Health Outpatient (OP) Redesign Workstream continue to work on the development of South Australian CPC to support a statewide redesign of our specialist outpatient services. The CPC are clinical decision-making support tools that assist in ensuring patients referred to public specialist OP services in South Australia are seen in order of clinical urgency and accepted based on standardised statewide referral criteria.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing OP Redesign Team has been engaged with CPC Clinical Pathway Groups, with membership across medicine and surgery, nursing and allied health developing the proposed CPC. The consultation period for the first six clinical specialities have now closed:

  • Cardiology
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Vascular 
  • Gastroenterology  

These CPC are currently being finalised and will soon be released on the OP Redesign Project | Clinical Prioritisation Criteria page. For more information, go to OP Redesign Project | Clinical Prioritisation Criteria page or email health.cpc@sa.gov.au.

Paediatric advice line

The paediatric department is keen to know whether there is interest from GPs for a paediatric advice line staffed by SALHN paediatricians. This is early days and your feedback will help define what this initiative looks like. Possible formats include having a set weekday afternoon session for GPs to call and seek advice on paediatric cases (with or without the patient and their family being present); other formats will be considered depending on your input, and whether you would prefer a booking system or a call on demand set-up. Please contact us and we can put you in touch with the paediatric team.

Neurosurgery waitlist project

As indicated in earlier GPIU newsletters, SALHN, in partnership with Flinders University, is undertaking a research project regarding new models of care for people on the neurosurgery waitlist at FMC. Two Stakeholder Advisory workshops were held in November 2021 and February 2022 with consumer and GP representation. As part of this initiative, a Neurosurgery pilot project was also undertaken between November 2021 and end of March 22 where Allied Health was working in conjunction with the Neurosurgery team to see patients who have been waiting the longest for an appointment. Further developments are currently being considered to continue reducing wait times for Neurosurgery.

Mental Health GP Shared Care webpage

A one-stop directory of mental health service details, information and resources to better support GPs in the care of mental health patients, including:

  • Adult community mental health services catchment boundaries map for assisting with locating which team to refer consumers to
  • Contact details for clinical assistance/specialist advice
  • Information and resources about completing physical and metabolic health assessments for mental health service consumers every six months
  • referral forms and details.

Discharge summaries - Improvement activities

We are working on a range of activities to improve clinical handover to General Practice when a patient is discharged from the hospital. Please let us know if you have any feedback on this topic.

Discharge summaries quality improvement - Seeking interest from GPs for survey / online feedback session

A SALHN working group including Pharmacy, General Medicine and GPIU is keen to investigate GPs’ perspectives of discharge summaries. The findings from this work will contribute to quality improvement and optimisation in the way that discharge summaries are prepared at SALHN. An electronic survey is being developed and online sessions will also be held for those who prefer this medium. If you would like to be part of this project, please contact the GP Integration Unit and we will link you with the project team.

New standardised discharge summary format

Following GP feedback regarding the quality and content of discharge summaries, a project has been started in SALHN to facilitate clinical handover to GPs at discharge. This follows a successful implementation in CALHN and aims to promote succinct ISBAR summaries that consistently include key events, decisions and investigations; new or changed diagnoses; a complete list of a patient’s medications to take following discharge including changes and rationale; items for GP follow-up and contact details.  We are keen to know if this new format works for you, as this will also help inform a state-wide improvement project on discharge summaries. Please let us know and thank you for your understanding while this work is progressing.

Digital Health SA – Secure Message Delivery (SMD)

The SA Health Secure Message Delivery (SMD) rollout is in full swing and has attracted positive feedback from GP practices and specialist sites who are receiving electronic Emergency Department and inpatient discharge summaries directly into their GP practice software.

  • If you haven’t yet received an invitation, please contact the SMD team via Health.SecureMessageDeliverySupport@sa.gov.au.
  • To learn more about SA Health’s SMD rollout and how to become eligible for activation, please visit the SA Health website. Please note that some document types will still be delivered by fax, ShareFile or post until further IT developments are completed across all document types.  SA Health is also working on the ability to receive electronic referrals from GPs however this is not available at this point in time.

Improving clinical collaboration and relationships

SALHN Surgical GP Community Collaborative - in partnership with SAPMEA

  • “Building partnerships between Flinders Medical Centre and the surrounding General Practitioner community so that no patient gets left behind”
  • Initial session: Colorectal – 29 July 2021
  • Second session:  Urology – 25 November 2021
  • Next session: Breast Endocrine

Neurology ECHO Network commenced in February 2022

FORTNIGHTLY ON THURSDAYS – 6:45pm – 7:45pm via Zoom (Feb 17 to May 12 2022)

Project ECHO®, a virtual peer-group clinical education, connects primary care practitioners with each other and to a panel of specialists from tertiary centres for regular videoconferencing sessions. Project ECHO helps primary healthcare providers to manage complex patient presentations by sharing knowledge, disseminating best practices, and supporting integrated care. Participation is free and enables you to earn CPD points.

Dr Adelaide Boylan, GP and Lecturer in Medicine at Adelaide University, will be facilitating this series joined by a panel of expert neurologists, nurse practitioners and consultants, clinical pharmacists and physiotherapist from across SA’s tertiary neurology departments. See the full schedule on the SAPMEA website.

Neurology ECHO aims to support the release of SA Health’s Clinical Prioritisation Criteria. The CPCs are clinical decision-making support tools that assist in ensuring patients referred to public hospital outpatients are clinically categorised and accepted based on standardised state-wide clinical referral criteria.

This program is now at capacity and running a waitlist. To join the waitlist or to access resources from past sessions, please visit the SAPMEA website.

Cardiology ECHO Program coming soon

SAPMEA will be commencing the Cardiology ECHO Network in June 2022. Dr Bridget Sawyer, GP, and Chair of AMA(SA) Council of General Practice will be facilitating this 7-session series joined by an esteemed panel of expert cardiologists, nurse practitioners/ consultants and clinical pharmacists.

Join the ECHO movement to help you manage complex patient presentations by sharing knowledge, disseminating best practices, supporting integrated care, and being a part of a community of practice. For more information, including registration details, please visit SAPMEA's website.

Community Chats and SALHN Annual Public Meeting

SALHN held a series of activities called 'Community Chats' to launch SALHN's Community Engagement Strategy 2021-24. Community Chats engaged the southern community to explore the future of their healthcare across SALHN and other community sites, as well as via online channels.

SALHN partnered with the Caring Futures Institute, SA Ambulance Service and Onkaparinga Council to present and host some of the community chats during the series.

Some activities explored the future of healthcare with a focus on digital transformation, while others simply encouraged people to have a chat about their ideas. The main themes were:

  • health sharing with GP and health services
  • transforming information into a steady stream of meaningful knowledge
  • specialist prevention women's health service for counselling and trauma recovery
  • better wayfinding
  • more local services
  • community advocates for people and those experiencing disadvantage
  • improved hospital facilities and more beds.

Some of these themes were addressed at SALHN's Annual Public Meeting which you can watch here: Annual Public Meeting, Community Chats video. SALHN will continue to create opportunities to engage with our community. Thank you for being involved with Community Chats and helping SALHN connect with the community to build long-term relationships, share information, plan and build people's capacity to shape our health care system for the benefit of our community.