A pioneering new program that reduces hospital admissions and saves around $3.5 million a year is successfully up and running at Christadelphian Aged Care’s Padstow aged care homes.
Connecting Care is a Bankstown Hospital program that brings hospital services into aged care homes and reduces the need for residents to have to endure ambulance transfers and lengthy hospital stays.
Residents with illnesses such as infections can be treated with IV antibiotics, have blood tests and even x-rays all from the comfort of their aged care home.
Geriatrician Dr Frank Liu said the program had proved to be safer than hospitals and led to a reduction in mortality rates.
“In patients in hospital with pneumonia we see a mortality rate of 24 per cent, but in this program it is only 7 per cent,” he said.
“We come here and provide the same service in their familiar and comfortable environment, with the same carer they would see at the hospital.”
The program had seen a reduction in around 300 hospital admissions a year, which saved the hospital around $3.5 million, Dr Liu said.
“Each admission costs the Government $10,000 easily, and an ambulance costs more than $1100 for a return trip.”
“Now emergency departments, ambulances and GPs are all referring to us,” he said.
“Not many residents at this age want to go to hospital, but usually they have no choice. We give them the choice and most residents and families are happy to be treated at the nursing home.”
Casa Mia’s Facility Manager, Sharon Fletcher, said the service not only helped residents but their family members as well.
“Where appropriate, we offer to contact the hospital specialist and ask them to come out it, and it will be the same specialists as would have seen their loved ones in the hospital. They are amazed and feel reassured by that,” she said.
“We know every day how lucky we are to have them.”
For more information about Casa Mia and Southhaven aged care Homes please call 1800 246 637 or visit www.chomes.com.au.