Better care for older residents

“Growing old isn’t for the faint-hearted” — elderly patients are often at risk of being lost in the shuffle with ever-increasing hospital visits, transient nursing care and sometimes even in their residential aged care homes.

Care coordination through Emergency Department, Residential Aged Care and Primary Health Collaboration (CEDRiC) focuses on improving the level of care offered to nursing home residents, making their journey from one care provider to the next as smooth as possible. Led by Professor Marianne Wallis, the project is a collaboration between USC, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services, Sundale (aged care services) and Sunshine Coast Medicare Local.

The CEDRiC trial begins at the patient’s home where Kaye Coates, a USC nurse practitioner candidate, is employed in the residential aged care facility (RACF) to proactively manage acute illness in residents and liaise more effectively with their General Practitioners.

At the other end of the process, in the Emergency Department of Nambour General Hospital, is a specially prepared team of GEDI (Geriatric Emergency Department Initiative) nurses led by Dr Elizabeth Marsden and Ms Andrea Taylor.

This team focuses on fast-tracking the care of older clients and ensuring their admission or discharge from hospital is appropriate. Meanwhile, USC School of Nursing and Midwifery Professor Marianne Wallis and Dr Marc Broadbent are working with clinicians to undertake and evaluative research projects on the process.

Funded by the Department of Social Services through a $1.15m Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant, the study evaluates the effect of this model on resident outcomes, resident and staff satisfaction and healthcare costs. The results are expected to help improve the level of care even further.

Outcome: The CEDRiC project ensures a high level of care for the most vulnerable in our society and provides doctors and nurses the opportunity to gain further education and research training.

“CEDRiC means we will stop harming nursing home residents with inappropriate stays in emergency departments.” Professor Marianne Wallis

Images: (facing page) The CEDRiC team ensures residents are not lost in the medical system; (this page) The CEDRiC team: Dr Marc Broadbent, Kaye Coates, Prof Marianne Wallis, Morag Oakley, Amanda Glenwright and Andrea Taylor