Queensland-first trial helps aged care residents avoid the emergency department
While the media has been accusing some aged care homes of “dumping” residents in hospitals, four aged care facilities in Mackay and the Mackay Base Hospital have been working to keep residents out of the emergency room according to the ABC.
Their Senior Early Assessment Team (SEAT) program uses secure email and video-conferencing systems to let doctors and nurses observe aged care residents in their room using a tablet device between 12pm and 8pm every day.
They can also prescribe management plans without having to send them in an ambulance to hospital – and it’s showing results.
66 per cent of cases are now being assessed and managed without residents having to go to hospital – freeing up doctors to see other patients more quickly and ensuring residents aren’t left waiting for treatment.
While the one-year pilot finishes next month, other local aged care providers are already keen to join.
We can see why. Residents don’t have to go through the trauma of a trip to the hospital and families can be reassured they are still being cared for – a great outcome.