Key messages

  • The generic priority tool identifies people who require priority for service because they belong to specific population groups who are at risk of poor health outcomes.
  • Community health services use the generic priority tool during the initial needs identification to identify people who need immediate intervention or people who fall into one or more high priority groups.

The community health priority tools are part of the Department of Health & Human Services program to improve access to community health services.

The generic priority tool identifies people who require priority for service because they belong to specific population groups, including people with the poorest health status, people with the greatest economic and social need for service, people at risk and people with complex care needs that require a coordinated team approach.

When a CHS should use the generic priority tool

Community health services should apply eligibility criteria first (if applicable), and then use the generic priority tool to prioritise eligible clients.

Staff use the generic priority tool during the initial needs identification (INI) to identify:

  • first, people who need immediate intervention because they experience poorer overall health outcomes, have barriers in accessing adequate healthcare, are economically and/or socially disadvantaged and/or present with complex care needs.
  • second, people who fall into one or more of the other high priority groups.

Priority categories for the generic priority tool

People in the following groups are considered high priority:

  • people with a risk to their own safety or the safety of others
  • people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with an intellectual disability
  • people with a serious mental illness
  • children in out-of-home care.

How the tool works

The generic priority tool collects information about the person, either from the person directly or from referral documentation. The process is explained in the Community health priority tools document.

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