Western Health has won the 2018 Victorian Health Award for its integrated program, Western HealthLinks . The DHHS funded program is about improving health outcomes for people living with chronic disease and reducing the need for unplanned readmission and ensure necessary clinical and psycho-social support is set up for patient participants, post discharge and reduce healthcare costs.

‘Once participants have provided their consent to participate, an initial care plan will be developed for them in consultation with their GP. They are then risk stratified into high, medium and low risk categories,’ said Executive Director of Community Integration, Allied Health and Services Planning at Western Health, Arlene Wake.

‘Following this patients are assigned what we call a health navigator who coordinates care with all those involved in the patient’s care, both in and out of hospital.’

Since its implementation, the model for Western HealthLinks program has been shared by Western Health to various state and national bodies, as well as internationally to the Canterbury District Health Board in New Zealand and the United States Accountability Care Organisation. More recently Western Health was invited to present the program at the European Healthcare Design Conference in London where it was shortlisted for the 2018 European Healthcare Design Awards http://europeanhealthcaredesign2018.salus.global/conference-static-page/shortlist-announced-for-the-european-healthcare-design-awards-2018