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Nobody wants to be in hospital if they don't need to be

Metro South Health's first challenge - Nobody wants to be in hospital if they don't need to be - is underway. The Ideas Jam is now closed, but you can view the ideas by visiting the Ideas Jam platform.

Challenge context

Futures Lab Challenge 1Hospitals are an integral element of the Australian health services landscape, providing specialist health care services, complex medical and surgical procedures, and rehabilitation and mental health services.

We know from a patient perspective however, that when people are well enough, the best ongoing care and recovery environment is not in hospitals—it is in the community, close to family, social support and local health and community care services including their general practitioner, allied health professional or pharmacist, and community programs.

But there are several issues that can and do delay a patient’s timely discharge and result in a patient being ‘stranded’ in hospital, including: waiting for more tests, lack of suitable community accommodation or other supports, lack of supportive equipment to continue their care in the community, lack of transport, waiting for disability or health care packages, poor access to or utilisation of  technology to continue their recovery at home, and more.

If patients are staying longer in hospital than they need to be because they are stranded, it means others who are really sick do not have a place to go because our hospitals are full. This puts stress on a health system that is already under pressure.

Addressing the issue of stranded patients and patient recovery in the community will not only benefit patients, their families and carers, it will also help to improve access to existing hospital beds.

Challenge prompt questions

  • How can we better partner and integrate services to ensure patients can access the ongoing care and support they need in the community setting?
  • How can we ensure hospital patients who are waiting for aged care or National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) packages/placement or other community or social support have somewhere to go when they are well enough to do so?
  • How can we use technology to support patients’ timely return to community after a hospital stay and ensure they remain cared for there?
  • What other ideas do you have that would enable patients to transition out of hospital to community as early as possible?

What happens next?

If your idea is selected, you could be invited to join a team of collaborators during the Design phase. Over nine weeks and with expert guidance, the team will refine your idea, and rapidly develop and test tangible solutions. Read more about our process or contact the Futures Lab team.  

Last updated 31 May 2019
Last reviewed 10 April 2019