Victorian Department of Human Services
AHA was appointed by the Department of Human Services Victoria (DHS) to evaluate the pilot of the demand management priority tools. The tools were developed as part of the 'Towards a demand management framework for community health services'. The framework includes evidence-based, clinical decision-making through the use of:
• A Generic Priority Tool
• Seven discipline-specific Clinical Priority Tools
• Dental Emergency Demand Management System (EDMS).
The Generic Priority Tool is the primary prioritising instrument targeting specified complex and at-risk population groups.
The Clinical Priority Tools were developed to prioritise clients on the basis of their clinical presentation. They are used once the need for a particular discipline has been determined. The tools were developed through seven working groups representing each discipline. The Clinical Priority Tools which were developed, trialled and evaluated were:
• Occupational Therapy (Adult and Paediatric)
• Physiotherapy (Adult)
• Speech Pathology (Paediatric).
For each tool AHA conducted a trial and evaluation to determine:
• Reliability-to ensure that different staff can use the tools in the same way
• Validity-to ensure that the tools accurately identifies priority clients
• Acceptability-by staff and consumers.
The use of the priority tools is part of the recommended approach to improving demand management. The pilot process was used to assist in the integration of the tools into practice, and to investigate other aspects of demand management.
This pilot and evaluation were considered quality assurance activities. The evaluation included:
• Eight CHSs piloting selected tools
• A literature review
• Consumer and staff consultation, including focus groups
• Analysis and reporting regarding the reliability, validity and acceptability of the tools, including statistical and qualitative analysis.