WSPHN and WSLHD are working together to explore ways of providing enhanced and timely patient care as part of 'one Western Sydney care system.' The arrival of COVID-19 offered an opportunity to pilot this approach with Care in the Community, a collaborative care model for positive COVID-19 patients to be monitored and consulted from their own homes.
In December 2020, Rapid Access to Care in the Community successfully supported ten positive COVID-19 cases linked to the Berala cluster. Patients were triaged through the hospital and connected to local General Practices, who provided them with coordinated, comprehensive care from the comfort of their own homes. This eased the challenges associated with enforced isolation.
"From the moment the COVID cases were confirmed, our local hospitals worked strategically alongside selected local general practices, like ours, who are equipped to deal with this particular scenario. I don't believe anyone likes to be in hospital, and this initiative allows us to provide care in an environment that gives patients added comfort and convenience without compromising the level of care".
- Dr Walid Jammal, General Practitioner
Angela, a 26-year-old woman from Western Sydney, was referred to the Rapid Access to Care in the Community program, having tested positive for COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms.
She was monitored from her home under the care of a General Practice Team using the CareMonitor application for 14 days. Each day, Angela completed self-assessment questionnaires and inputted her biometric data, such as her temperature. The GP team remotely monitored this information and followed up with the built-in messaging function. On day 11, the CareMonitor team noted a deterioration in Angela's health and organised a video consultation with a doctor at the practice. Fortunately, Angela indicated no signs of respiratory distress, but the team recommended an additional COVID test. Angela's results were still positive for COVID-19, but lab investigations showed that the cells were dead and that she was no longer contagious. Doctors reassured Angela that her symptoms were the result of post-infection fatigue.
After completing her 14-day isolation period, Angela returned to everyday life grateful for the support she had received.
*Name changed for patient privacy.