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Hospital at home program trialling in SA

A new South Australian Government initiative that provides hospital-level care in your own home is currently being trialled across metropolitan Adelaide to eligible South Australians. 

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The new My Home Hospital program already has five patients receiving care through this initiative. [Source: iStock]

Patients with specific health conditions can be referred by their General Practitioners (GPs) or specialists to receive hospital care through the My Home Hospital program.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, says the State Government is committed to providing more support for people to stay well and out of hospital but also to get the care they need outside of hospital.

"Patients do not always have to be physically in hospital to receive the care they need. My Home Hospital gives patients the option for doctors, nurses, and allied health practitioners to deliver care right into their home," explains Minister Wade.

"A key benefit of home-based care is to reduce the risk of hospital-based infection - a heightened concern as we continue to deal with the COVID pandemic.

"This innovative and patient-centred approach will not only provide care from the comfort of people’s homes but increase hospital capacity and reduce pressure on the wider health system."

There are three hospital in home pilot programs currently running in the northern, southern, and central local health networks, which Minister Wade says has freed up hundreds of hospital day beds through the provision of home and community care.

He explains that these programs prevent many emergency department presentations and hospital admissions, providing relief to busy hospital staff and emergency departments.

The new My Home Hospital program already has five patients receiving care through this initiative. In July, the program will be rolling out to people in the outer suburbs of Adelaide. 

“For older patients, a hospital stay often worsens their overall condition. It may disrupt their routine and sleep, reduce access to family and friends, and involve prolonged bed-rest which can rapidly decrease muscle strength," says Minister Wade.

"Receiving care in a familiar and comfortable surrounding benefits a patient’s overall wellbeing and improves treatment outcomes, as well as avoiding the risk of hospital acquired infection."

As the South Australian health system is one of the most expensive health systems in the country, Minister Wade says finding more sustainable health solutions is the best way to move towards high-quality but lower cost alternatives to hospital care.

Chief Executive of Wellbeing SA, Lyn Dean, says the new service, delivered with Calvary and Medibank, provides a range of treatments in home where appropriate.

People who require treatment for conditions like kidney or respiratory infections, cellulitis, or deep vein thrombosis could be eligible for the hospital to home program.

"During treatment, My Home Hospital doctors and nurses will visit patients in their home as required to provide the care they need in person and via video call," says Ms Dean.

"Using remote monitoring technology, doctors and nurses will also be able to stay in touch with patients at any time and track clinical observations such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature in real-time."

The My Home Hospital program may be able to provide services, like some X-rays, blood tests, medication, meals, and personal care, if needed.

Eligible public patients in metropolitan Adelaide will be able to access this service for free. The program is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To learn more about the program and whether you are eligible, head to the My Home Hospital website.

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