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Hospital in the Home (HITH)
Image Caption (From Left): Israel Lagumbay, Grace Cunningham, Adebimpe George, Dr Ulrich Orda and Christine Mann
Patients in Mount Isa are about to have an even greater choice of care options, following the introduction of a Hospital in the Home (HITH) service.
Beginning March 1, HITH is a program that will provide home-based acute care instead of patients having to stay in hospital for their treatments.
Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and HITH trial sponsor Christine Mann said the level of care provided with the program was equivalent to being in hospital but allows the patient to receive their care in the comfort of the person’s own home.
“Our aim is to provide patients greater choice in how and where their care is received. Obviously, some people require to be in hospital to receive care, but for others who only require, for example, antibiotics or wound dressings, it is possible to have this done at home. Once eligible, the way it works is that nurses visit your home to provide the care and that care is reviewed and managed by doctors in the hospital,” Ms Mann said.
“The HITH project will ultimately provide compassionate, patient-centred care to people with acute, post-acute, and chronic health conditions in North West HHSs’ widely dispersed community.”
Ms Mann said that as technology advances, new opportunities become available to equip patients with the support and resources they require to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own home for longer, and closer to loved ones, while receiving hospital treatment.
“This is important for our patients and leads to better health outcomes - by reducing the need for hospitalisation and or frequent outpatient appointments we will provide the right care in the right place at the right time. We anticipate the result of this work will be seen in reduced length of stay for the patient, prevent hospitalisations, and increase patient satisfaction,” she said.
The project is set to begin in March and will deliver an initial trial of HITH in Mount Isa with 15 patients initially. HITH provides hospital level care in the community with a view to relieving pressure on the health care system and simultaneously achieving equivalent or improved health outcomes. It is a service that is provided in the majority of cities across Australia, but this will be a first for the patients and families in the North West.
The service is offered to patients experiencing many issues, including diabetes complications, cellulitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive cardiac failure, and urinary tract infection, and is free for eligible Queensland public hospital patients who consent and are eligible to transfer to HITH.