Allied Health Flow and Interdisciplinary Referral Management (AHFIRM) Program

Mrs Angela Mucic1

1Western Health, St Albans, Australia


The primary aim of this project was to determine if enhanced allied health (AH) leadership at ward level improves referral effectiveness. The secondary aim was to determine if AHFIRM improves ward staff members perception of multidisciplinary team work.

AHFIRM positions were advertised to Grade 2 and 3 AH staff members internally. There was no new EFT. The position description was based on the following three pillars:

  • Access and flow, through proactive AH referral management;
  • Interdisciplinary communication, through a single point of contact
  • Allied health leadership presence at ward level, through influence and advocacy.

The successful applicants were trained in referral reasons and prioritisation criteria for each AH discipline and interdisciplinary leadership.

A pre implementation referral audit found that 43% of referrals to inpatient AH were inadequately completed and did not allow prioritisation. A follow up audit will be completed in March 2019. Preliminary results have shown a improvement in the quality of referrals into General Medicine.

A pre implementation survey was completed looking at multidisciplinary team-work and leadership at ward level. The survey found that 37% of respondents were not sure which AH ward staff member could act in a leadership capacity. A follow up survey will be completed in March 2019.

Significance of the findings to allied health:
AH leadership in inpatient referral management may improve access and flow. This study looks at a sustainable model for delivery of shared ward based leadership, without additional funding.


Angela is the Allied Health Education Lead for Workforce at Western Health.  Angela’s interest is in developing structures and processes that nurture the building of leadership capacity among allied health clinical and the ground level.

Angela trained as a physiotherapist graduating from Latrobe University in 2002 with First Class Honours. She completed a Masters of Business Administration with a double major in health service management and knowledge management.