The Purpose of Primary Options is to:
- enable Primary Care teams to access new and existing community-based alternatives to acute hospital admission where these are appropriate
- build knowledge about various service options including optimum skill-mixes, client/Whanau focus and cost-effectiveness
- identify and, where appropriate, address communication and service gaps that contribute to hospital admissions
- encourage General Practice insights into issues and General Practice support for reducing hospital admissions
- support culture and practice changes required to achieve the goals of reducing the level of acute admissions and achieving integrated services.
A range of community diagnostic, therapeutic and logistic services are provided at no cost (except the initial GP consultation) to the patient/Whanau. These include:
- diagnostic procedures, for example x-ray, ultrasound, IV antibiotics for cellulitis (see guidelines) and laboratory blood tests
- GP and Practice Nurse home visiting
- follow-up and return visits to General Practice locations
- home nursing services, home help and equipment hire
- intravenous therapy
- transport to and from Primary Care locations
- rest home care.
Northland PHOs Primary Options Programme is designed to minimise hospital referrals for acute medical patients.
Short term interventions to achieve this include:
- IV therapy (either antibiotics or fluid administration)
- GP or nurse consultation
- nurse observation
- Private x-ray or scan, fast tracking diagnostic procedures
- Rest home stay
- Home support services
- Equipment hire services
- Transport support.