Pilot project – utilisation of Allied Health services in paediatric post acute care: Feasibility review

Ms Sarah Rawlings1, Ms Sue  Lamont, Ms  Sarah  Ashley Jones, Ms Nikki Collins

1Monash Childrens, Clayton, Australia

Background:

Monash Children’s Hospital trailed an alternative and novel model of care adding Dietetics, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services to the existing Post Acute Care (PAC) Program. Previously there was no Allied Health (AH) involvement for Paediatric PAC.

Objective:

This pilot aimed to assess the feasibility, uptake, satisfaction and cost evaluation of implementing an Allied Health paediatric PAC program.

Methods:

A 7 month pilot trial was conducted between Dec 1st 2020 – June 30th 2021. Retrospective analysis was performed on the paediatric inpatients eligible to receive follow up PAC AH services following an acute admission.

Preliminary results:

  • An average of 9 AH sessions were provided weekly
  • Weekly AH discipline breakdown:

o             Dietician 58%

o             Speech Pathology 23%

o             Physiotherapy 17%

o             Occupational Therapy 2%

  • Cost savings:

o             Approximately 12 in-patient days per month saved equating to improved patient flow and organisational cost saving

  • Patient outcomes:

o             Facilitation of early wean off NGT feeding tubes

o             Safer discharge planning with earlier targeted follow up

             Average time to follow up with PAC 7 days vs out-patient/community 1-2 months

             40% of referrals did not require referral for ongoing AH services

o             Improved family centred care

o             Greater patient satisfaction

o             Improved continuity and coordination of care from acute to home and community

Conclusions:

An Allied Health PAC team has been demonstrated to be a feasible and cost effective model. Preliminarily results have demonstrated the optimisation of patient care and outcomes with potentially wider cost savings.


Biography:

Sarah is a senior physiotherapists at Monash Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Sarah has worked for Monash Health for 10 years working across a variety of clinical areas and has extensive clinical experience in the management of paediatric chronic respiratory and neurological conditions and complex medical conditions and care needs. Most recently Sarah has taken on leading the expansion of Allied Health services for Monash Children’s at home including Hospital in the Home and Post-Acute Care initiatives.

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