Reducing waiting time for ambulatory and community services:
Specific Timely Appointments for Triage (STAT)
Waiting for outpatient and community health care is a problem for clients and services. The STAT research project aimed to reduce waiting times using an evidence-based model of access and triage developed at Eastern Health. STAT provides an alternative to using waiting lists to manage demand.
The model’s key elements are: analysis of supply and demand; a one-off intervention to address the backlog; creation of clinician schedules which reserve new patient appointments; simplification of intake; and a shifting of caseload management to make prioritisation decisions on ongoing service delivery rather than initial intake.
After initial indications of success in two pilot trials, the model has been tested in a large scale trial involving eight community based health services and more than 3000 patients. STAT reduced waiting time by 34% and also resulted in a substantial reduction in variability of waiting time indicating a more equitable service. Reducing waiting lists improves efficiency for health providers, and early access to services reduces anxiety, improves quality of care and may lead to improved outcomes for patients.
What is STAT
Play the video to find out how the model works
How do you do it?
Click here to download the free handbook on STAT.
STAT was nominated for the 2019 La Trobe University Excellence in Health Research and Translation Award.
The video below gives more information.