The interface of acute and aged care : the role of the nurse in a provincial area

Hegney, Desley, McCarthy, Alexandra L., de la Rue, Mary Beth, Gorman , Don, Martin-McDonald, Kristine, Fahey, Paul, & Pretty, Grace (2003) The interface of acute and aged care : the role of the nurse in a provincial area. Australasian Journal On Ageing, 22(2), pp. 85-91.

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This study was to investigate issues that arose from pre-admission to post-discharge, for people in Toowoomba, Queensland over the age of 65 admitted to an acute facility. This paper concentrates on a significant concern that emerged from the large amount of data collected during this project, that is,the role of the nurse in the continuum of health care involving elderly people.


The study involved a multi-site, multi-agency and multi-method (qualitative and quantitative) approach. Data was collected from regional service providers, the Department of Health and Aged Care (DHAC), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Home and Community Care (HACC), the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), elderly people who had been discharged from regional hospitals and their carers, residents of regional aged care facilities, area health professionals and elderly regional hospital inpatients.


The data indicated that nurses in this provincial area currently play a limited role in preadmission planning, being mostly concerned with elective surgery, especially joint replacements. While nurses deliver the majority of care during hospitalisation, they do not appear to be cognizant of the needs of the elderly regarding post-acute discharge.


The recent introduction of the model of nurse case management in the acute sector appears to be a positive development that will streamline and optimise the health care of the elderly across the continuum in the Toowoomba area. The paper recommends some strategies, such as discharge liaison nurses based in Emergency Departments and the expansion of the nurse case management role, which would optimise care for the elderly person at the interface of care.

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ID Code: 64540
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: elder care, nurse case management role, over 65, nurse role, acute care, Australia
DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2003.tb00472.x
ISSN: 1440-6381
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 18 Nov 2013 22:09
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2013 22:09

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