Hospital in the Home (HITH) provides admitted care in the comfort of the patient’s home or other suitable location.
Research findings demonstrate that patients have improved outcomes and recovery at home with fewer complications such as infection, delirium and confusion.
HITH is an alternative to an inpatient stay. Patients are still regarded as hospital inpatients, and remain under the care of their hospital doctor. Care may be provided by nurses, doctors, or allied health professionals, and additional home supports arranged as required.
Patients can be offered this option if care can be delivered safely at home. Participation is voluntary and there is no additional charge to patients.
Like all acute admitted activity Hospital in the Home admissions are funded through casemix payments. The unit of payment is a Weighted Inlier Equivalent Separation (WIES). Hospital in the Home is reported through Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) and subject to the same audit process and monitoring as acute admitted activity.
People who can access Hospital in the Home
The admission criteria are governed by the department’s Victorian hospital admission policy. Hospital in the Home can be accessed by any admitted patient of a public hospital who is:
- assessed as being clinically stable
- appropriately supported in the home; for example, by a carer or other appropriate person
- living in a suitable environment with access to a telephone
- suitable for Hospital in the Home treatment
- willing to be treated through Hospital in the Home.
Referrals to Hospital in the Home
Patients may be admitted to HITH in different ways, depending on their condition and treatment. Some patients may be directly admitted from the emergency department or the community. Patients may have a stay in hospital first, and continue their treatment through the hospital's Hospital in the Home service.
There are 52 HITH service sites across Victoria.
Non-admitted alternatives for care
If a patient does not meet the acute admission criteria but requires specialist care in the community, there are a range of programs that may be appropriate.
Health Independence Programs (HIP) aim to provide hospital substitution and diversion services by supporting people in the community, in ambulatory settings and in their homes.
HIP focuses on improving and optimising people’s function and participation in activities of daily living to allow them to maximise their independence and return to, or remain in, their usual place of residence.
Health Independence Programs include:
- ambulatory rehabilitation
- access to specialist services, including specialist assessment
- short-term supports
- care coordination - short term or complex
- complex psychosocial issues management
- client self-management, education and support.
Hospital in the Home guidelines
In 1994 the HITH began as a pilot program as part of a strategy to provide patients with greater healthcare options by incorporating home-based care in an episode of acute care.
In 2009 an independent review confirmed that HITH as a well-established model of care that is safe and effective and highly valued by patients, carers and staff.
The current HITH guidelines outline appropriate governance, staffing models, policies and practices to deliver high-quality HITH services.
- aim to ensure HITH is acute care
- outline service capability and quality standards
- assist services to provide HITH within appropriate governance and funding structures
- aim to promote consistency of access
- reduce variation of service profiles across the state within the context of a complex service system.
Hospital in the Home mobile computing guide and toolkit
The HITH mobile computing guide and toolkit were developed by the Department of Health & Human Services and the Australian Centre for Health Innovation. They are aimed at HITH services but may be applicable to other home visiting services.
The goal of the guide and toolkit is to provide information for organisations to make an informed decision about computing and device selection.
Please read the guide before progressing to the toolkit.
The toolkit survey has four sections:
- Project Preparation
- Clinical Process
- Software Considerations
- Hardware Considerations.
On completion of the survey a summary report will be issued. This will reflect the requirements identified and suggest the type of device that will most suit the organisation's stated needs.
The suggested devices are generic in nature, either iOS, Windows or Android. Examples of laptops and tablets are provided within functional groups. The functional group is recommended, rather than a specifically named device, because there are new device options becoming available all the time.
Any reputable manufacturer or model that matches the requirements should be investigated.
If you are a patient receiving care through a Hospital in the Home service and need help, please contact the Hospital in the Home service on the number they have given you or call the hospital’s emergency department.
Information and support for health professionals relating to Hospital in the Home. Department of Health & Human services.