What is HITH?
Hospital in the Home, otherwise known as HITH, is the delivery of high-quality medical care and treatment by health care professionals within the patient’s home, as an alternative for being in hospital.
Patients who are eligible for HITH are still treated as inpatients and remain under the care of their hospital doctor. Nurses deliver daily treatments to patients and in some cases visit up to twice a day.
The use of 24 hour continuous infusion to deliver antibiotics, and the availability of a portable, noiseless, elastomeric medical pump, offers the ultimate convenience and ongoing care for many conditions to be treated effectively in the home.
A patient, who is clinically stable, has a suitable living environment with appropriate support, and access to a telephone and fridge, may be eligible for HITH, provided their condition is suitable for HITH treatment.
Most states and territories in Australia have HITH programs available, for patients who meet the criteria, with a growing number of services being added each year.
The two admission points to HITH are early discharge followed by care at home (shortened hospital stay) and admission avoidance (full substitution for hospitalisation).
HITH for Patients
Studies have shown HITH increases patient and carer satisfaction, with no change to carer burden.1 Some of the positive outcomes patients report includes2:
- Access to the same quality treatment in the comfort of their own home
- More time with their families and pets
- Increased mobility, allowing them to get back to daily life
- Excellent quality of service and manner of which the care was delivered
- One-on-one contact with staff
1. Med J Aust 2012; 197 (9): 512-519.
2. Int J Qual Health Care 1996; 8 (3): 243-5