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Helpful Planning Tools

Specialised planning tools include:

  • a tool for looking at historical trends and flow patterns in patient activity from 1997-2011.
  • forecasting software tools that analyse and predict future trends in inpatient acute, sub-acute and mental health activity.
  • a tool for projecting future needs for operating theatres.
  • health service, hospital and networked service role delineation tool which provides guidance on the range of services and resources required to support varied clinical services.


FlowInfo is a PC based inpatient service-planning tool for NSW Health where inpatient activity can be analysed by any combination of variables including: age, sex, local government area of residence, hospital of treatment, AHS of residence, AHS of treatment, month of treatment, ANDRG and SRG. Activity is reported in separations, beddays and cost weighted separations. FlowInfo is updated regularly and data is currently provided for 1997/98 to 2008/09.

Acute Inpatient Modelling (aIM2010)

aIM2010 is an interactive PC based planning tool which allows planners to assess the impact of alternate demand/supply scenarios. Utilised in clinical service and capital planning, aIM2010 provides a best estimate of the future demand for acute admitted patient services based on a number of planning assumptions. The model takes a range of parameters affecting demand at an LGA, age and sex level to project future activity and distributes this activity to Hospitals based on assumptions regarding the supply of health services across Districts and Hospitals.

Role Delineation

The Guide to the Role Delineation of Health Services, Third Edition 2002 applies to public hospitals and health services. It describes the size, service profile and roles of the institutions of the District. The Guide is used as a tool to determine the necessary support services once core service levels are resolved, or to provide a common language when describing services.

NSW Health Population Projections

The Planning Unit also has access to the official Population Projections used for planning services through the Ministry of Health's Statewide Services. The projections are produced for NSW Statistical Local Areas, broken down by sex and age. As the official Government projections, and to ensure consistency with other agencies, it is important that these projections are used by Districts and the Department. This release is mandated for NSW Health planning purposes and will differ to population projections for NSW which will be available from the NSW Department of Planning website in the near future. In particular, the projections reported here, while based on those from the Department of Planning, use a modified fertility rate customised to NSW Health.

How to develop a Health Services Plan

In developing health-related plans there are a number of core processes that are generally undertaken. The following is not intended as a prescription, rather as a general guide for clinicians and providers who need to develop a plan.

Figure 1: Overview of the Planning Process

Figure 1:  Overview of the Planning Process