Implementing HealthPathways

Initiative Type
Service Improvement
20 March 2018
Last updated
24 July 2020


Currently, referral practices and prioritisation decisions can depend on location, speciality and the clinician/s involved, with variable quality of interface between the local primary and acute sector. Once implemented, HealthPathways will be that conduit to form partnerships with primary healthcare networks and the hospital and health service.  

Key dates
Jul 2016
Dec 2018
Implementation sites
Torres and Cape HHS, Cairns HHS, Townsville HHS, Mackay HHS, Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN in collaboration with SCHHS, Metro South HHS in collaboration with South Brisbane PHN, Brisbane North PHN and Metro North HHS, Darling Downs HHS
Primary Health Networks, Streamliners New Zealand, Healthcare Improvement Unit


Implementation of HealthPathways state-wide.


  • Agreed guidelines to help general practitioners assess, manage and refer to the acute sector.
  • Improved referral and communication processes between referrers and specialist outpatient services.
  • Each health jurisdiction tailors the content of HealthPathways to reflect local arrangements and opinion and are developed between primary and specialist services locally. 
  • Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) decision support tools are embedded within HealthPathways.
  • Patient benefits from general practice having greater clarity for what can be provided and the appropriateness for obtaining further specialist service and alternative options.
  • The local health system benefits through less demand on services as patients are better managed in the community, freeing up resources.


HealthPathways started in Canterbury in 2008 and use has steadily increased to the point that 99 per cent of general practitioners surveyed in Canterbury 2013 use it weekly in their practice, 70 per cent of whom use it daily. 

In Queensland, two sites (Mackay and Townsville) had implemented HealthPathways locally. 2016 Clinical Excellence Division signed the state-wide licence. From this period, another 8 sites have implemented HealthPathways. Currently we have 800 plus HealthPathways live across Queensland. 

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Key contact

Jody Paxton
Healthcare Improvement Unit
(07) 3328 9337