March 24, 2022

Targeting rehab patients

A program targeting more intensive rehabilitation for patients is being trialled at Northern Hospital Epping.

The Targeted Acute Rehabilitation Program (TARP) aims to provide targeted and more intensive rehabilitation in the acute setting for patients flagged for GEM or rehab, with the hope of discharging patients directly home and avoiding a subacute admission. The program is also expected to help reduce subacute waitlists.

TARP initially ran as a trial at Northern Hospital Epping in 2018 for 20 weeks. Now, the program will run again as a longer trial until February 2023, with hope for it to become a permanent fixture at Northern Health.

James Walker, Physiotherapist and Project Lead, said the 2018 trial was favourably received by patients and staff.

“About 44 per cent of patients were discharged directly home and there was a low readmission rate,” he said.

“It also reduced our subacute waitlist significantly, there was significant functional improvements and there was a positive evaluation from participants and staff.”

“We hope to demonstrate a similar effectives across a longer trial period over the coming year. After February 2023, if we can demonstrate an effective program, we will look to advocate for it to become permanent.”

The key patients targeted in the program must be medically stable, able to tolerate a higher intensity of therapy and are flagged for subacute but have the potential to discharge home if seen more often.

To become involved in the program, patients needs to be referred and also have multidisciplinary goals.

“We have seen anything from strokes to hip fractures to UTI’s, as long as they are medical stable and will benefit from increased therapy,” James said.

“We will accept referrals from neuro, medical, surgical, orthopaedic ward allied health team members who have initially assessed patients on the ward and determined their suitability for our program.”

The program is offered to patients Monday to Friday, with a roving team consisting of Julia Layer, Physiotherapist, Janet Stavely, Allied Health Assistant, Belinda Huynh, Occupational Therapist, Subash Adhikari, Social Worker and James Walker, Physiotherapist and Project Lead.

Featured image: TARP team members