Hospital in the Home
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.
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 care and assessments of mother and baby
- regular fetal monitoring with cardiotocographs (CTGs) and ultrasound dopplers
- administering medicines and intravenous fluids (into the vein), care of lines
- collection of specimens, bloods, urine, swabs as required and this includes arranging transport to RWH-Core Laboratory.
If you have been on the Enhanced Recovery After Caesarean (ERAC) pathway you will be transferred to the Maternity Hospital in the Home - postnatal pathway, for you and your baby's immediate post-operative care in the home.
Following the above care, you will then be ‘discharged’ into another at home service provided by the Women’s: Postnatal Care in the Home. As part of this service, you and your baby will receive further visits in the home as a part of our regular post-birth care.
You will be visited by neonatal intensive care nurses who:
- have extensive experience in caring for sick and premature babies
- will support you with your baby's transition to home and any special care needs your baby requires
- can provide many monitoring and clinical care options in the home.
Our team works closely with Melbourne Health to ensure that our surgical patients have the best follow-up care including access to:
- breast surgery wound and drain tube management
- complex wound dressings
If you would like to access one of the Women’s Hospital in the Home streams of care, talk with your doctor, midwife or nurse. They can organise a referral.
If you meet the criteria for our service, we will book your visits and a nurse or midwife will:
- Talk to you about your visit schedule.
- Text or call you on the morning of a planned visit to let you know the approximate time of arrival.
We ask patients and carers to provide a safe environment for our nurses and midwives to provide care. This includes:
- no smoking during a visit
- a suitable location for the visit
- no interruptions from pets or animals
- an environment free of clutter.
Important information you should know
There may be a time when a visiting nurse/midwife finds that you or your baby are too unwell to stay at home and that you need immediate medical attention. We will ask you to return to the hospital when safe to do so, but in an emergency, an ambulance will be called at your expense (please ensure you have ambulance cover).
Important Women’s 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.
You can discuss any care concerns or provide feedback to your visiting Hospital in the Home nurse or midwife.
You can also direct any concerns to:
· The Women’s Consumer Liaison Team on (03) 8345 2290.
In the event of an emergency, please dial 000 for an ambulance or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.