Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Hospital outreach service: Helping to prevent nursing home placement

Phillip Bairstow, Sarah Ashe and Mary Bairstow

Australian Health Review 21(4) 192 - 202
Published: 1998


An outreach service from a post-acute metropolitan teaching hospital delivered anintensive, multidisciplinary and coordinated allied health service, and achieved bothearly hospital discharge and the prevention or delay of nursing home placement. Thisarticle reports on three types of cases which illustrate how the service assisted wardteams, families and patients to determine whether nursing home placement wasessential. For a group of 20 cases, the total reduction in hospital length of stay was556 days, and home accommodation as an alternative to nursing homeaccommodation was achieved for a total of 7505 days. The article outlines a matrixof advantages and disadvantages, both tangible and intangible, of home versusnursing home accommodation. It is suggested that a full costing of this matrix wouldinform debate on the comparative merits of long-term home and nursing homeaccommodation.

© AHHA 1998

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