Through a new state-first expansion to Hospital in the Home services, QEII Hospital is creating a seamless continuum of care so that patients can change their level of care as they need it and potentially avoid returning to hospital in the future.
The new Geriatric and Rehabilitation Hospital in the Home (HITH) service, which commenced earlier this month, is a hospital avoidance and substitution strategy implemented by QEII hospital for patients needing sub-acute care.
The service provides patients with daily clinical care led by geriatricians in the comfort of their home from a comprehensive team of health professionals.
QEII Allied Health Services Director, Leo Ross, said the benefits of the program are supporting patients to avoid unnecessary hospital admission, leave hospital earlier and ultimately remain longer in the place where they are most comfortable.
“This new service allows patients presenting to ED at QEII to be directly admitted into the HITH program and managed from home without being admitted to a bed at the hospital as we send the care to them.
“They have access to a geriatrician, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, amongst other services every day for the length of their admission to the program; then they are referred to other community-based providers to continue their care,” he said.
Adding rehabilitation support to the existing Acute Care@Home service now means the service is available to a wider range of patients and is reducing the length of stay in both orthopaedics and medical wards.
“We find that most patients want to be in the familiar surrounds of home as soon as possible after surgery so, for things like hip and knee replacements, we are able to transition patients into this HITH model which is getting them home from the hospital one to two days earlier than expected with continued support in their own home,” he said.
The service is a partnership between QEII Hospital and AcuteCare@Home which gives patients more control of their care.
It is the third new model of care delivered by QEII since July 2019 with the Geriatric Emergency Department Intervention (GEDI) and Eat, Walk, Engage programs all feeding into this new HITH service to provide best patient outcomes and experience.