People Plus Technology a promising home care combination
An Australian-first home-based treatment trial that includes holographic virtual doctors, promises to reduce hospitalisation and help older people remain living independently for longer.
Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, today launched Silver Chain’s Integrum Aged Care+ trial, designed to support senior Australians with complex care needs and chronic health conditions to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
“This trial aims to overcome the challenges of fragmented care and poorer patient experiences, which can happen when a person is transferred between hospitals, specialists and aged care providers,” Mr Wyatt said.
“It’s hoped that through Integrum, older Australians will have more control over their care, through a wraparound network that delivers both health and social support.
“It will include the Australian-first application of the Enhanced Medical Mixed Reality interface, allowing healthcare professionals to link with doctors and data through holograms and video conferencing, while they are visiting clients’ homes.”
The Federal Government—through innovation funding from the Perth North and Perth South Primary Health Networks (PHNs)—has allocated $948,400 to the trial.
It will be operated by Silver Chain, the largest provider of in-home health and aged care in Western Australia. The organisation will be responsible for ongoing funding of the pilot.
Mr Wyatt said clients would have access to a dedicated care team including an Integrum doctor, case manager, support workers and allied health clinicians to ensure their needs were identified and supported throughout their journey.
The Silver Chain Integrum team will communicate with the client’s regular GP, if they have one, to complement the care they provide as part of a shared care model.
This care team will oversee and manage processes like care planning, co-ordination of health and aged care services, referrals and escalation of care, if needed.
A limited pre-trial had returned positive feedback from those involved, and laid the groundwork for the next stage of the program.
The second phase of the trial will see the program offered to up to 300 people with multiple chronic conditions who have been hospitalised between one and five times in the previous year.
As part of the trial, the project team will be testing whether this integrated care approach helps senior Australians to better manage their conditions at home and reduce hospitalisations and emergency department visits.
The Perth North and Perth South PHNs — operated by the WA Primary Health Alliance — and Silver Chain have co-designed the care model being used in the trial.
“This project is an outstanding example of how PHNs collaborate with communities to improve people’s health, through innovative and tailored care,” Mr Wyatt said.
More details on the Integrum program are available at https://www.silverchain.org.au.
6 July 2018.