“It enables people to choose to receive care in the way they want to receive it, and where they want to receive it.”—Rebecca Windsor, CEO, Health Insurance, Australian Unity.
- Australian Unity's Healthcare at Home program allows you to rest and recover in the peace and privacy of your own space.
- Support is tailored to a patient's specific circumstances and needs, but may include nursing support, physiotherapy or occupational therapy, or even help with meal preparation or cleaning. The program also coordinates specialists, equipment and medication.
- Patients may potentially recover faster at home. Other benefits include greater independence, being close to loved ones and not needing to travel to appointments.
If you're seriously ill or injured, there's no doubt that a hospital is the best place to be. But it's also true that most of us want to be home as soon as possible.
"It's just nice to be in your own bed," says Tracy Niarros, Clinical Care Coordinator at Remedy Healthcare, who also points out that people tend to recover quicker in their own environment.
Thankfully, the idea of recuperating in the comfort of your own space isn’t wishful thinking. Australian Unity's innovative Healthcare at Home program—which encompasses Hospital Care at Home and Rehabilitation at Home—allows eligible customers to receive hospital and rehabilitation care at home, giving them all the benefits of being at home, without compromising on support and care.
Tailored hospital-quality support
Delivered by Australian Unity's health partner Remedy Healthcare, the Healthcare at Home program means that patients who have been approved by their doctor can receive treatment and support at home.
"It enables people to choose to receive care in the way they want to receive it, and where they want to receive it," says Rebecca Windsor, Australian Unity's CEO of Health Insurance.
She emphasises that every patient has different circumstances, so their doctor will liaise with the hospital and clinical coordinators like Tracy to determine what the patient's care will look like. Depending on their needs, support might include nursing, infusions, wound dressing or IV antibiotics—or even help with meal preparation or cleaning. In addition to care from qualified nurses, patients may also receive in-home support from Remedy Healthcare's physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Tracy is quick to point to the coordination provided by the Healthcare at Home program. "We talk to nurses, specialists and equipment companies, and we make sure everything arrives for the client at home,” she says. “For antibiotics, we check in with the local pharmacy so they can pick them up when they get there. It's connecting all the various parts and making it work for the client at home."
Importantly, the program has no out-of-pocket costs for eligible Australian Unity customers.
There really is no place like home
Rebecca reiterates that there are numerous benefits to recovering at home, which in turn help support the patient’s Real Wellbeing. These include:
- Comfort and familiarity: With the constant hustle and bustle, hospitals can be tiring places to recover, especially if you're facing an extended stay. Being at home provides a sense of security and comfort, making it easier to relax and recuperate.
- More independence: Recovering in your own space gives you greater control over your day-to-day activities and schedule.
- Close to loved ones: Having beloved family and pets around fosters a supportive and emotionally healing environment.
- Convenience: Care is coordinated around your schedule and needs, and there's no travelling to and from appointments.
- Choice: Healthcare at Home allows you to choose how and where you receive care, empowering you to decide the most suitable setting for your recovery.
Dr Jeannie Yoo, Australian Unity's Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Innovation Lead, also endorses the effectiveness of home-based rehabilitation.
“Task-specific therapy and rehabilitation can be more effectively performed by patients in their own home environment, because that’s where they’ll actually be performing those tasks,” she says. “And in instances where there is cognitive or memory impairment, being in a familiar setting can help with patient recovery as well.”
More choice for patients, less pressure on hospitals
Australia’s aging population and changing community needs demand fresh thinking on healthcare delivery, and Healthcare at Home is the compassionate and logical next step. It prioritises patient wellbeing and comfort, while still delivering high-quality, clinically excellent care.
“Recovering from surgery or an illness can take place in more than one location, and hospital is not always the best or the only option that’s available,” says Jeannie. “These days, there’s more choice about where and how you can receive your care.”
Healthcare at Home provides broader social benefits as well, according to Rebecca, including reducing some of the strain on unpaid carers, and relieving pressure on hospitals. "It creates capacity in the hospital system for others to get treatment," she emphasises.
Making a genuine difference to patient care
By enabling patients to recuperate at home, the Healthcare at Home program can make a genuine difference to their wellbeing and recovery—and Tracy's experience as a clinical care coordinator gives her first-hand insight into its value.
Recently, she completed a three-week program for a woman who had been discharged from a lengthy stay in hospital.
“I actually spoke to the client’s husband today and he just couldn’t be more supportive about how the program went. They'd already had the review with a specialist and everything looks fantastic,” she says.
“He found that she recovered a lot quicker when she was at home. To get her well on the road to recovery at home was amazing.”
Information provided in this article is not medical advice and you should consult with your healthcare practitioner. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest. Interviewee titles and employer are cited as at the time of interview and may have changed since publication.
Remedy Healthcare Group Pty Limited and Australian Unity Health Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Australian Unity Limited. An Australian Unity health partner, Remedy Healthcare provides targeted, solution-oriented healthcare that is based on clinically proven techniques. For more than 10 years, Remedy Healthcare has worked with more than 100,000 Australians – helping them to manage their health through caring, coaching, empowerment and support.