St. Vincent’s University Hospital expands its EDITH service with the addition of a second vehicle
31st May 2023
St. Vincent’s University Hospital’s (SVUH) Emergency Department in The Home (EDITH) is proud to announce the arrival of a second vehicle, marking a significant milestone in its commitment to expanding and enhancing its services. EDITH, which has been operational since February 2020, is a collaborative initiative between St. Vincent’s University Hospital, the National Ambulance Service, St. Columcille’s and St. Michael’s Hospitals. It has been at the forefront of revolutionising emergency medical care for the older adult at SVUH.
EDITH was set-up in response to the challenges of COVID19 and has benefited over 7,500 patients to date. It provides an alternative, patient-centred pathway to the Emergency Department (ED) for adults aged 65 and over and offers significant benefits to both patients and the health service including reductions in ED presentations, in-patient bed day usage and adverse events, while also reducing unnecessary diagnostics. This allows hospital resources to be redistributed and releases bed days back into the SVUH healthcare system. It provides a Holistic approach to Emergency Care connecting patients with healthcare resources already available in the community. EDITH fully supports the Sláintecare vision with the ‘right care, right place, right time, by the right person.’
With over 60 nursing homes in the SVUH catchment area, the introduction of a second vehicle will be instrumental in expanding the reach of EDITH, providing more support to patients, especially those who primarily reside within these nursing homes. This in turn keeps patients safer in their familiar surrounds and reduces further complications associated with admission to hospitals for these vulnerable persons such as delirium; deconditioning and loss of independence.
“We are delighted to announce the addition of a second vehicle to EDITH with thanks to the National Ambulance Service (NAS). We are grateful to our colleagues in the HSE Operational Performance and Integration division who responded to the hospital with support when we identified the need for this important initiative to improve the hospital’s patient safety journey for older people. This signifies a remarkable development in our commitment to enhancing healthcare safety and accessibility, serving a larger population of older patients and addressing the growing healthcare needs of our community,” said Michele Tait, Interim CEO at SVUH. “Equipped with cutting-edge medical technology and equipment, this new vehicle will allow our team to deliver extended, high-quality medical care and treatment directly to those who need it within the catchment areas of SVUH, which includes St. Columcille’s in Loughlinstown and St. Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with EDITH at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and provide a second vehicle to enhance their emergency services,” said Johnny Dicker, Head of Service – Fleet and Logistics, HSE National Ambulance Service. “This partnership exemplifies our commitment to delivering exceptional care to older persons in our community. We look forward to working closely with EDITH and SVUH to provide a seamless and comprehensive healthcare experience to our patients.”
Karen Donohoe, Business and Operations Manager, Medical Directorate at SVUH explained, “During the initial outbreaks of Covid19, many older persons were reluctant to come to the hospital’s Emergency Department, thus we decided to bring ED to them. The addition of a second vehicle to our fleet, will significantly increase EDITH’s ability to respond to emergency calls regarding acute medical conditions and in many instances, negate the need for the patient to attend the ED. Combining our expertise and resources with the National Ambulance Service, together, we are confident that our partnership will contribute significantly to the well-being and quality of life for older persons.”
“As the initial Clinical Lead for EDITH, I am excited to witness the growth of the service”, said Dr Rosa McNamara. “The service has been instrumental in allowing us to provide real alternatives to the Emergency Department for those living with frailty, and enhancing overall patient experience. With the introduction of a second vehicle, we will be able to extend the reach of our service, ensuring that more individuals in need of urgent medical attention receive the highest standard of safe, emergency care – bringing the expertise of the Emergency Department in to their home.”
The ‘at home’ service includes a full medical and targeted functional assessment by a senior decision maker (Doctor /Advanced Nurse Practitioner) and Occupational Therapist, including mobile ECGs and bloods. The service operates seven days a week from 8am – 6pm. EDITH accepts referrals from local GPs and other community-based HCPs through a dedicated hotline. Referrals are also accepted from Nursing Homes, the National Ambulance Service (NAS), and from the hospitals’ Emergency Department team. Referrals received can be related, but not limited to, falls, delirium, wound reviews, pain management, infections, functional decline or catheter-related issues. All accepted patients receive a once-off visit, however many patients are then be referred or sign-posted to relevant community services.
Dr Patrick Hillery is the current EDITH lead and one of his key roles is GEM-geriatric emergency medicine. At St. Vincent’s University Hospital, we remain committed to advancing emergency medicine and continuously improving our services. The arrival of a second vehicle for the EDITH service underscores our unwavering dedication to providing the highest level of emergency care to the community we serve. EDITH has achieved much success in keeping frail, older patients safe by providing a multidisciplinary response to an urgent need for emergency care. It has been a resounding success and a positive innovation for patients, staff and the Hospitals as a whole of which St Vincent’s University Hospital is very proud of.
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