Patient Pathways: Supplementary Linkage report
The Patient Pathways study included a data-linkage component. For the first time, data on individuals in the Victorian alcohol and other drugs (AOD) treatment database, ED and hospitalisation datasets were linked and analysed to examine patterns and characteristics of ED presentations and hospital admissions.
The datasets were linked and analysed to examine patterns and characteristics of ED presentations and hospital admissions across three years – the year prior to AOD treatment engagement (2009/10), the year of AOD treatment engagement (2010/11) and the year following AOD treatment engagement (2011/12) to determine change in service use following treatment for AOD clients at a whole-of-population level.
The findings demonstrate evidence of decreased service utilisation across emergency department (ED) and hospital inpatient settings with an acute alcohol-related or other drug-related diagnosis in the year following treatment engagement.
These reductions were found across most participant demographic characteristics, treatment types and drug use characteristics.
The reductions, indicating improvements in both general health and also the experience of acute drug-related harm, such as severe intoxication or overdose. Injury presentations and admissions also decreased following treatment engagement, with larger reductions evident for participants who had been engaged in residential rehabilitation in their index year of treatment.