Queenslanders are now living longer with multiple comorbidities. This has seen more presentations to emergency departments and subsequent inpatient admissions. The increase of frail older persons presenting to hospital poses a significant challenge for Queensland Health to provide appropriate and safe care. Queensland Health’s Frail Older Persons program will optimise the care provided to this group.
A Ministerial workshop identified Queensland Health could—and should—explore news ways to provide care for frail older persons. A one-day follow up workshop was held in November 2018 where attendees prioritised opportunities to optimise the care provided. These were:
- improve identification of frail older persons to optimise care
- improve comprehensive frail older persons assessments to identify and meet care needs
- upscale inpatient initiatives to improve the patient journey
- improve quality of acute healthcare for residents of aged care facilities
- advance care planning and education for public, general practitioners and clinicians
To support these priorities, $20M recurrent funding has been allocated to implement three models of care:
1. RACF acute care support services (RaSS)
Partnering with RACFs to increase choice of care locations for residents, and improve the quality and safety of care provided across the care continuum.
2. Geriatric Emergency Department Intervention (GEDI)
Frontload frailty assessment, prioritise care needs and fast track frail older persons through the emergency department.
3. Inpatient Geriatric Mode—expanding the ‘Eat Walk Engage’
Model of care into two wards at 10 hospitals to reduce complications like delirium and deconditioning, and increase discharge back to a patient’s home.
These models have been proven in the Queensland context to increase patient and clinician satisfaction of care provided.
The program is being rolled out across 25 hospitals across Queensland.
For more information, email Frail_Older_Persons@health.qld.gov.au or visit the Improving the quality, safety and care of older Queenslanders webpage.
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