The population is ageing and older people represent a significant and increasing
proportion of emergency department and hospital patients. Older people often present with complex health issues or illnesses. Being in hospital is not the safest place for older people as they have higher rates of adverse events and are more likely to become deconditioned.
Unnecessary lengths of stay experienced by older people can be caused by perceived complex issues related to care coordination and discharge planning. These delays may be caused by patients waiting for a guardianship hearing and/or nursing home placement.
Through the Whole of Health Program: Aged Care Projects stream, focus on solutions that have been developed locally and implemented by facilities to address these issues will be shared to the wider system to improve the patient journey. It is hoped that by sharing these solutions, facilities will be able to utilise the key principles that have contributed to their success and adapt them to their local environment so that unnecessary lengths of stay experienced by older people are reduced and they are able to be in the most appropriate environment.
Collaboration is key
The success of the Whole of Health Program: Aged Care Projects stream will rely on strong collaboration and partnership with the pillars, local health districts and facilities. Many local solutions that are currently being trialled or in place have the potential to be scaled up through the Whole of Health Program where key principles allow for flexible customisation of initiatives. The Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Aged Health Network provides a strong link to clinicians where the Aged Care Projects stream can seek valuable feedback and advice.
By working closely together with our partners, we can avoid duplication of effort and develop a community of practice that allows for a coordinated effort in the development of issues arising from aged care patient flow issues. The Aged Care Projects stream will also provide a central platform where solutions that have the potential to be scaled up can be shared across the system.
Examples available on the ACI website, include:
The Guardianship project
Key stakeholders have partnered to review and identify options for reducing processing times for hospital patients requiring guardianship decisions.
Please visit Guardianship project for further information.