Hospital in the Home Service

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The Women's provides inpatient acute and sub-acute care for patients in their home environment. It is a comfortable, safe, and efficient substitution for in-hospital care for a wide range of conditions.

The Women's Hospital in the Home (HITH) program provides hospital-like care in the comfort of a person's own home.

Patients are regarded as hospital inpatients and remain under the care of a treating hospital team, receiving the same treatment and considerations as they would if staying in hospital as an inpatient. A 'home' could be the patient's own house, a hotel, or a family member's or friend's home.

Our Hospital in the Home team works closely with the patient's home medical unit, patient and relevant carers or family members to develop a realistic treatment plan and care for the woman and/or baby in their home. 

Program streams

The Women’s has four different HITH streams of care, ensuring different patient groups are cared for by the most appropriate clinical teams.

Patients

Hospital in the Home - Program

Care providers

Gynaecology / Breast and Cancer patients

Adult

  • Royal Melbourne Hospital RMH@Home - Acute

Maternity – Antenatal patients

Maternity - Antenatal

  • The Women's
  • Antenatal midwives

Babies

Neonatal

  • The Women’s
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Neonatal HITH nurses

Maternity – Postnatal mothers and babies

Maternity – Postnatal provides immediate post-operative care, followed by our domiciliary care program with Postnatal Care in the Home which provides ongoing visits in the home as a part of our regular post-birth care.

  • The Women’s
  • Postnatal Care in the Home midwives
Cost

There is no cost to patients for receiving Hospital in the Home care. 

What kind of care we provide

We provide face-to-face clinical care in the home by qualified nursing and midwifery staff, who communicate regularly with the hospital's Obstetric and Neonatal medical teams.

Care can consist of:

  • physical assessments
  • blood tests and specimen collection
  • medication administration
  • education and advice for the patient and their carer.

Medical teams will implement discharge planning, and outpatient follow-up care in the home can continue with some outpatient services.

Our staff visits occur between 8am - 4pm, seven days a week including public holidays.

Hospital in the Home care includes:

Pregnancy (Antenatal) Care
  • pregnancy assessment and care, blood pressure monitoring
  • regular fetal monitoring and assessments with cardiotocographs (CTGs) and ultrasound dopplers
  • administration of medicines, injections, intravenous fluids (into the vein) and care of lines
  • preterm premature rupture of the membranes
  • hyperemesis, diabetes management and blood glucose level (BGL) stabilisation
  • removal of cooks catheter as a part of our induction of labour pathway.
Postnatal Care
  • Care after a caesarean section if women have been on the Enhanced Recovery After Caesarean pathway (ERAC). Immediate post-operative care for mother and baby will be provided by the Maternity HITH - Postnatal Service with women and babies then ‘discharged’ into the Women’s domiciliary care service – ‘Postnatal Care in the Home’. Under that service, women and babies will receive further visits in the home as part of their regular post-birth care.
Baby Care
  • weight monitoring
  • establishment of breastfeeding and lactation
  • feeding difficulties
  • thermoregulation
  • jaundice monitoring and/or phototherapy in the home
  • home tube feeding
  • home oxygen administration
  • medicines / IV antibiotics
  • palliative care
  • in-home based withdrawal program
  • home blood glucose monitoring.
Care for our Gynaecology / Cancer / Breast patients
  • breast surgery pathway
  • complex wound management post operatively.
  • intravenous infusions including short and long-term antibiotics.

Referral information

Access to our Hospital in the Home services is restricted to our inpatient public patients, with referrals made internally.

Patients will need to meet the referral HITH criteria before being accepted for one of our HITH streams of care. Please advise women and families to talk with their home medical teams about their possible HITH options at the Women’s.

Important information you should know

There may be a time when a visiting nurse/midwife finds that a woman or baby is too unwell to stay at home and needs immediate medical attention.

They will be asked to return to the hospital when safe to do so, but in an emergency, an ambulance will be called at the patient's expense (please advise patients to ensure they have ambulance cover).

Important service information

The Women’s Hospital in the Home nurses and midwives provide visits anytime between 8am – 4pm, seven days a week including public holidays.

Patients can discuss any care concerns or provide feedback to the visiting HITH nurse or midwife.

They can also direct any concerns to:

  • The Women’s Consumer Liaison on (03) 8345 2290.

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