Orange Health Service has launched a new initiative known as the Aged Care Emergency (ACE) program. This service will focus on delivering care to our elderly community, in the most appropriate environment.
Older people currently account for more than 60% of hospital admissions. The ACE program will focus on supporting staff in residential aged care facilities to appropriately care for residents within that facility, when medically appropriate.
The ACE program has been developed with the involvement of management and staff at Orange Health Service in collaboration with aged care facilities, GP’s and the Ambulance Service. This group shares a single goal - to better manage older people in residential aged care facilities who become unwell.
Orange Health Service has appointed a Transitional Nurse Practitioner to implement the program. Christine Sullivan has more than 15 years’ experience working in the residential aged care environment and has witnessed first-hand the benefits of managing elderly patients in their residential environments where possible.
“Older people who become unwell in residential aged care facilities are a considerable proportion of Emergency Department presentations,” said Ms Sullivan. “However evidence suggests that for certain medical conditions, effective treatment can be delivered in the Residential Aged Care Facility environment. In fact some studies show older patients, treated in their place of residence, have similar or better outcomes and fewer complications, compared to those transferred to hospital for treatment,” she said.
While acknowledging that the Emergency Department will remain an important point of entry to the health care system for older people, one of Orange Health Service’s stated priorities is to “deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time, for each and every patient,” said Orange Health Service General Manager Catherine Nowlan.
“There are several benefits of implementing a program like this. One benefit is being able to better manage demand on the Emergency Department through a collaborative approach to triaging Residential Aged Care Facility residents while they are still in the community. More importantly we are focussed on consistently improving the patient journey and that starts with identifying patients who can be best cared for in their own environment. We are proud to be part of a team dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of health care for residents in aged care facilities in Orange and we are extremely supportive of this project,” said Ms Nowlan.
Media are invited to attend the launch of the ACE Service at the ED Ambulance Bay at 10.45am on Monday 29th April.
Representatives from aged care, the Ambulance Service, the Division of GPs and the Orange Health Service ACE program will be available for interview.
For further information please contact:
Melissa Hamling Media Officer 6369 3833 / 0417 511 738