HITH provides equivalent or better outcomes at better value
Hospital in the Home (HITH) is clinical care that reduces the length of stay in hospital or in some instances can avoid an admission altogether.
A range of clinical conditions can be effectively and safely managed without a person needing to stay in hospital. There is evidence that certain conditions can be well managed through this type of care:
- deep vein thrombosis
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- urinary tract infections.
The care received through a Hospital in the Home service is comparable with the care received in a hospital. Some of the benefits for patients include:
- ability to remain in the comfort of own home
- not having to adjust to the hospital's routine - they can eat their own food, watch TV when they want and sleep in their own bed
- reduced risk of adverse events from hospital admission
- family and friends can visit when it suits the patient rather than the hospital routine.
Providing this option for patients who are suitable to be treated in HITH saves the patient an unnecessary stay in hospital and makes sure we have beds available for patients who need to be in hospital for their care.
Most HITH services provide care at home, however it is also appropriate for patients to be seen in a clinic.
In NSW we have a number of services delivering HITH care. These services have different names and manage different conditions so it is always best to speak with your doctor about whether this would be an option for you.
Despite these differences, what is the same across NSW is that you can receive high quality acute care without necessarily needing to be in hospital.
Many patients who have received HITH care have said they prefer this option
- "I would have been worried about my kids all the time if I had to stay in hospital.... they hated to see me in the hospital and the little ones just cried"
- "I was in a room with ill people and wanted to go home to my dogs and my own environment
- "It's just like being in hospital but with all the comforts of home. It's a better choice than being in hospital"
So... the next time you are at the hospital, ask your doctor or the emergency department specialist if your condition can be treated at home or through an ambulatory clinic. You may be able to receive all or part of your acute care while being able to stay at home.
NSW HITH Guideline
HITH is a hospital substitution program which means that the person having Hospital in the Home would otherwise have to stay in a hospital. Access is needs based and available regardless of age, diagnosis, disability, geography, culture or gender. The objective is to provide patient centred care as close to home as possible.
The NSW Hospital in the Home (HITH) Guideline has been developed by clinicians to provide clear, standardised guidance to local health districts and specialty networks regarding terminology, key elements and principles of HITH in NSW. They also support local health districts and specialty health networks to develop, evaluate and monitor HITH services to meet local needs.
NSW Health is committed to ensuring that:
- NSW HITH services have consistent, measurable and clearly defined service delivery models
- NSW local health districts and specialty health networks have a clearly defined strategy to increase their HITH capacity to meet the needs of specific target patient groups and their broader community