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