Social work and complex care systems: The case of people hospitalised with a disability

Redfern, Helen, Burton, Judith A., Lonne, Bob, & Seiffert, Helen (2016) Social work and complex care systems: The case of people hospitalised with a disability. Australian Social Work, 69(1), pp. 27-38.

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Health and hospital system reforms prioritise efficiency. However, initiatives can impact on people with new or existing disabilities who require time to maximise functional independence. With greater demands for shorter hospital stays social workers face increasing pressure to facilitate discharge. This paper reports findings from research identifying factors contributing to extended stays for adults with disabilities. We sought to better understand patient characteristics and discharge planning challenges by analysing a clinical data set of 80 patients and qualitative interviews with five experienced hospital social workers. Three key factors are identified: issues around rehabilitation services; assessment and planning for community care; and availability of and access to discharge options. Strategies to reduce length of stay are reported. We argue that building collaborative partnerships and working across multiple, complex systems and disciplines are vital to ensure these patients access appropriate community-based resources within the current health reform environment.

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ID Code: 92601
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Health Social Work, Disability, Collaboration, Patient Flow, Length of Stay
DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2015.1035295
ISSN: 1447-0748
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: © 2015 Australian Association of Social Workers
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2016 02:12
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 00:01

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