Implementation of an AHA workforce within Hospital in the Home (HITH) Physiotherapy Service

Mrs Lucy Whelan1,2, Mrs Greta  DeVincentis1, Ms Nathalie Walkington1, Ms Sarah Rawlings1, Ms Tamara Hollett1

1Monash Health, Clayton, Australia, 2Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Background: The COVID 19 Pandemic presented Monash HITH service with an unprecedented increase in demand for services to the Cystic Fybrosis (CF) cohort. It was proposed that some Allied Health Professions (AHP) tasks could be delegated from within the HITH environment, initially within Physiotherapy services and potentially broader to the wider AHP workforce.

Aim: Feasability trial of an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) workforce within the HITH physiotherapy service to assist in the management of a Paediatric CF patient in response to increasing demands secondary to the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Method: Implementation process completed over three months. Patients referred to Physiotherapy service to Monash Children’s in the Home from April 2020 – June 2020 were given consideration around appropriateness for delegation to AHA. Delegation via daily EMR order and delegation tool written and verbal were completed by the treating physiotherapist. All AHA HITH contact were completed via Telehealth only.

Results: AHA were involved with 50% of the patient cohort.

  • Increased utilisation of AHA workforce across MCH
  • Patient and family satisfaction
  • Physiotherapy time able to be redirected in planning for COVID19 protocols
  • Provided an on par service to ward service for CF cohort
  • Increased access to sought after physiotherapy services

Conclusion:

  • Implementation of AHA’s within HITH may increase cost savings per patient with the addition of an AHA for a second treatment.
  • Potential for larger trial study
  • Confirmed CF suitable caseload to consider using AHA

Biography:

Greta has been employed as an AHA for the past 10 years and has extensive experience in Rehabilitation and Chronic Pain Management and Research. Most recently she has been employed at MCH as a multidisciplinary grade 3 AHA for Acute Paediatrics and AHA Team Leader. In the physiotherapy services she works across Oncology and the Orthopaedic Hip clinic. She has helped to  establish a role for AHA’s within Monash Hospital in the Home  due to the increase in demand for physiotherapy services in the Cystic Fibrosis cohort during the COVID 19 pandemic.

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