A new Marshall Government initiative to help direct patients to the best possible care and avoid unnecessary time in hospital has helped to save an average of 40 occupied bed days per week since being implemented in March.
The 24/7 CALHN Integrated Care Coordinator (CICC) bridges the gap between hospital and community based care, providing a point of contact for GPs, SA Ambulance Service and other providers when seeking alternative care and rapid assessment options for patients who don’t need emergency care, but who would otherwise present to the Emergency Department.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the CICC also worked alongside ward and ED clinicians to advocate and advise on contemporary care options in the community to facilitate a timely return home for patients.
“We are starting to see some green shoots through initiatives such as this which provide high-level care options for patients at the same time as easing pressure on our emergency departments,” Minister Wade said.
“That is why we have expanded the initiative from two to three CICC nurses with two CICC nurses available during the week and one available on the weekend.”
Central Adelaide Local Health Network CEO Lesley Dwyer said that, prior to the implementation of CICC, patients who were safe for discharge or transfer of care to a community provider often remained in acute beds or were accessing CALHN ED’s when they didn’t need to.
“Helping patients to get home more quickly, and avoid hospital altogether reduces the risk of adverse events such as falls, malnutrition, pressure injuries, and hospital-acquired infections.”
The initiative is among a suite of measures introduced by the State Liberal Government which are easing the pressure on our emergency departments.
“There is still a lot of work to be done but we are confident that we are heading in the right direction,” Minister Wade said.
“Winter is a period of high demand on our emergency departments and I have no doubt the stress on our system would have much higher without these programs in place.”
The initiative is complemented by the combined efforts of the NDIS SA Hospital Discharge Pilot and the Long-Stay Transition to Discharge projects which have seen 96 long-stay and NDIS patients discharged to date.
These patients together had a combined stay of 11,978 days since being medically fit for discharge.
Through CICC interventions:
- AT LEAST 8 patients per week are redirected to community services and not presenting to ED.
- AN AVERAGE of 10 patients per week who were on a trajectory to hospital admission from ED are able to return home, with community service support outside the usual referrals.
- AN AVERAGE 12 patients per week who would have remained in a hospital bed, are able to be discharged.