Facilitating sub-acute care ‘closer to home’ for rural and remote patients

Facilitating sub-acute care ‘closer to home’ for rural and remote patients Conference Paper

15th National Rural Health Conference: Better together!

  • Author(s): Finch, Jennifer
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2019

Abstract: Context and aims: An innovative collaboration between public allied health services and primary healthcare service providers, including an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, is implementing a project to provide an integrated sub-acute service across agencies and geographical boundaries in central and north-west Queensland. The project places the patient in the centre of the sub-acute journey, and aims to expedite the return to home communities, or as close as clinically feasible, for sub-acute care. The service model aspires to provide a seamless sub-acute service regardless of service provider and reduce duplication and gaps in existing models. A series of tools have been developed to improve processes and build capability and capacity across rural and regional sub-acute services. A framework has been developed that builds on the allied health rural generalist service model, including better use of assistants, telehealth, skill sharing and partnerships. A criteria-led decision-support tool and companion discharge communication process have also been developed to facilitate a predictive, inclusive and consistent transition between regional and rural hospitals, and then to primary health care services. Method: A two-year implementation phase commenced in 2018 that includes: Ongoing development and collective leadership from the multi-agency, multi -site collaborative; Mapping current services and undertaking a gap analysis; Introducing the decision-support tool and early discharge planning across sites; Identification and development of education and training resources; Application of the allied health rural and remote sub-acute framework. Results: The collaborative has established strong inter-agency and rural-urban partnerships that are changing the approach to sub-acute care in the region; The criteria-led intake and step-down transition tool and early discharge communication processes are in use across health and primary health care services to transition patients between phases of care and services; Rural allied health services are developing and implementing enhanced sub-acute service models; Conclusion: Co-design of sub-acute services across agencies, sectors and regional-rural teams presents opportunities to enhance service outcomes and the patient experience. This partnership can support service provided to fully capitalise on the scarce allied health resources in rural and remote communities.

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Suggested Citation
Finch, Jennifer, 2019, Facilitating sub-acute care ‘closer to home’ for rural and remote patients, Conference Paper, viewed 30 November 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15825.

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