In August, a group of health professionals, stakeholders, and consumer representatives met to discuss the progress of a project aiming to identify opportunities for the prevention of unnecessary hospitalisations of older people living in residential care.
The collaborative initiative between Resthaven Inc and Monash University is known as ‘Project Prevent.’
Tina Cooper, Executive Manager Residential Services, explains, ‘Having to go to hospital is traumatic for older people and their families and any steps that can be taken to assist in unnecessary hospitalisations is a positive step in the right direction.’
‘We are genuinely delighted to work together with the team from Monash University to develop a clinical tool that aims to identify risk factors.’
‘Our previous research identified that falls and infections were two key areas to review in relation to hospitalisation. Very few studies have investigated whether an admission to hospital could have been prevented – that’s where Project PREVENT comes in.’
‘The full name of the project is Pathways to Potentially Preventable Hospitalisations in Residents of Aged Care Services.’
‘It builds on previous research collaborations between Resthaven and Monash University. These include our original 2014 Resthaven/Monash study, Optimising the use of medicines in aged care facilities, which gathered data from 383 residents across six Resthaven residential aged care homes.’
‘Our subsequent research project, Towards a better understanding of polypharmacy and complex medicine regimens, investigated factors associated with a complex medicine regimen, and whether this is associated with resident quality of life or the risk of hospitalisation. ’
‘Using the results from these two previous research projects, the expert panel focused their attention on those residents who had been hospitalised, and discussed the key indicators which might have helped prevent those hospitalisations from occurring,’ Tina explains.
‘Working together, the experts asked, “What are the things we could potentially review to prevent someone from going to hospital for a fall or infection-related illness?” Reducing admissions to hospital will improve the quality of life for older people and their families.’
‘Associate Professor Simon Bell will once again lead this important research at Monash and we look forward to working together to develop our findings.’