May 23, 2023

We Are Northern: This is the GEM@Home Program team

Northern Health’s Geriatric Evaluation and Management at Home (GEM@Home) program is based at Bundoora Centre and provides interdisciplinary aged care and rehabilitation services to patients after an illness or injury.

The program aims to help patients achieve the best level of health and function, whilst in their homes. Patients are visited in their homes daily for the duration of the program by members of the treating team.

The GEM@Home program also helps to reduce the time a person spends in hospital by receiving care in their home. In consultation with the patient, the treating team develops a care plan that support patients’ care needs and goals, whilst on the program.

The care plan may include:

  • nursing care
  • physiotherapy
  • dietetics
  • podiatry
  • occupational therapy
  • speech pathology
  • social work
  • geriatrician consultancy.

The amount of time spent on the program depends on the patients’ individual care goals. Most patients will stay on the program for less than 21 days, including the length of stay as an inpatient in GEM Wards. During this time, the team works with the patient to arrange any ongoing support they may require. This could include Transition Care Program (TCP), Health Independence Program (HIP) or Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services.

During the pandemic, the GEM@Home program team experienced many challenges, including reduced staffing and patients refusing in-home services. Telehealth consultations were introduced enabling medical consultations, while nursing staff were attending patients’ homes, ensuring fast and effective treatments were developed to cater for patients’ changing needs.

Despite the many challenges, the GEM@Home program team persevered and continued to provide high-quality care for their patients. Robyn Coleman, who has been working with the program since its commencement in 2015, has received many outstanding patient feedback forms, highlighting her dedication, high level of skills, compassion and empathy.

“Working in a team like GEM@Home makes coming to work easy. We all share the same goals for our patients. Each staff member has no hesitation discussing any problems with each other to ensure better outcomes for our patients. Having great support from our manager, care coordinator and administration staff has been beneficial to staff morale, and has helped us make a great team,” she said.

This year, the team is looking forward to implementing the Electronic Medical Record System (EMR), which will streamline the service and improve communication between the community setting and inpatients.

“It’s a privilege to lead such a dedicated team who are deeply invested in the program, always ensuring the very best outcomes for our community,” said GEM@Home Program Manager, Mathew Wood.

Thank you to the staff at GEM@Home program for all that you do for Northern Health patients.

Pictured (L-R) Back row: Selina Beech, Sharyn Stockdale, Deborah Robb, Edgar Menchavez
Front row: Bridget Brendel, Grisel Jose, Sharyn Martell, Mathew Wood