THE OUTLOOK FOR HEALTH CARE IN 2023:

What you need to know about the forces reshaping our industry.

X

Case Study

Nurse practitioner for acute aged care

5 Minute Read

Overview

The challenge

Aged care facilities are often poorly supported in managing patient conditions. Exacerbations from chronic conditions and dehydration, among others, lead staff to send high volumes of patients to the emergency department for conditions that could have been treated in the community.

The organization

Coffs Harbour Health Campus is a regional referral hospital in New South Wales, Australia, with 35,000 ED visits annually.

The approach

Coffs Harbour Health Campus developed the Nurse Practitioner (NP) for Acute Aged Care role to treat patients in the community and decrease ED presentations from aged care facilities.

The result

During the first year this role was in place, the NP was able to make 1,000 care home visits, avoiding an estimated 750 emergency department visits.

 

Approach

The Nurse Practitioner for Acute Aged Care is a member of the hospital’s emergency department staff, but travels throughout Coffs Harbour’s catchment, visiting care homes and providing the necessary care to residents.

The NP is able to provide treatment or necessary referrals to residents for a wide array of common conditions that would previously have sent residents to the emergency department. Visiting the various homes on a schedule, the NP is also available on call to respond to acute episodes. For low acuity issues, care homes now call the NP rather than the ambulance service. This saves resources in two places: the ambulance service and the emergency department.

 

Results

During the first year that this role was in place, the NP was able to make 1,000 care home visits, avoiding an estimated 750 emergency department visits. As these numbers suggest, the NP cannot avoid all emergency department visits by care home residents. Sometimes the emergency department is the appropriate site of care.

1,000

Nursing home visits during first year of NP program

750

Estimated number of emergency presentations avoided
during first year

Have a Question?

x

Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.