Non-admitted Patient Care (Specialist Outpatient Services)
For specialist outpatient services a clinical urgency category is assigned on the following basis:
Category 1 Criteria
- Appointment within 30 days desirable; and
- Condition has the potential to require more complex or emergent care if assessment is delayed; and
- Condition has the potential to have significant impact on quality of life if care is delayed.
Category 2 Criteria
- Appointment within 90 days desirable; and
- Condition is unlikely to require more complex care if assessment is delayed; and
- Condition has the potential to have some impact on the quality of life if care delayed.
Category 3 Criteria
- Appointment not required within 90 days; and
- Condition is unlikely to deteriorate quickly; and
- Condition is unlikely to require more complex care if assessment is delayed.
Responsibility for assignment
The Medical Officer responsible for the specialty should assign the clinical urgency category, following an assessment of the patient's referral. This task may be delegated to a nominated officer (eg: medical registrar, resident or senior registered nurse) where clinical urgency assessment protocols have been clearly defined and documented.
Assigning a clinical urgency category requires the fulfillment of all criteria for that category. If a patient does not fulfill all criteria for Category 1, Category 2 is considered. If the patient does not fulfill all criteria for Category 2, then the patient is allocated Category 3 status.
The clinical urgency category (ie category 1, 2, or 3) should be defined within five working days following the Non-admitted patient care - referral receipt date.