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Improving outpatient and community care

Reduce preventable visits to hospital by 5% through to 2023 by caring for people in the community.

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Why is this important?

Supporting patients in the community using integrated approaches to care has demonstrated reductions in unnecessary hospital visits by delivering care closer to home.

Focusing on preventative healthcare in the community also helps people stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, while ensuring the hospital system operates as efficiently as possible.

The Premier’s Priority aims to reduce potentially preventable visits to hospital by 5% through to 2023 for people who can safely receive their care in the community. Delivering this result will strengthen the care provided to people in the community, improve patient experience and keep people healthier in the long-term.

How are we tracking?

Reducing the number of days spent in hospital for patients with conditions where a hospital visit can potentially be avoided will require a focused and coordinated effort between hospitals and primary care providers. 

The proportion of total days spent in hospital in 2018-2019 by people with conditions where hospitalisation is potentially preventable has declined (improved) by 1.1 percentage points since baseline (2017-18). Prior to this the rate had been increasing since 2015-2016. 

Improving outpatient and community care data information sheet (PDF, 151.78 KB)


What are we doing? 

With growing numbers of people living with chronic or complex health conditions, health care needs are increasing. To address these challenges, NSW Health is supporting local health districts to implement innovative, locally-led models of appropriate and coordinated care that meet the needs of patients.  

Patients with complex care needs and those who access care regularly may benefit from these initiatives more than others. NSW Health is using innovative methods such as data linkage programs and patient identification algorithms to identify patients who are at-risk or require increased coordination of their care.   

These initiatives aim to improve linkages between primary, community and hospital care, expand virtual care models, increase access to preventative care, and support patients to be treated outside of hospital settings when safe and appropriate.

NSW Health is working with primary care partners to scale up the successful initiatives which have shown to improve outcomes for vulnerable and at-risk populations. This will increase accessibility to appropriate care pathways. 

Outpatient and community care

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