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Ambulatory Care: Susie Piper at DFTB17


Susie Piper is the Director of Paediatrics and Child Health for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Having previously run the Paediatric Ambulatory Care service at Campbelltown and Wyong hospitals.

Not all children that present to the hospital via the emergency department need to be admitted to ongoing care. Susie talks about the role of an ambulatory care service and how it is slowly catching up with the adult Hospital in the Home (HITH) system.

In the dynamic realm of healthcare, innovative patient care models are reshaping how medical attention is delivered. Ambulatory care, a concept gaining traction, is poised to revolutionize pediatric healthcare. Susie Piper’s enlightening talk at DFTB17 delved into ambulatory care, offering insights into its significance, challenges, and potential benefits.

A Multifaceted Approach

Ambulatory care as a transformative approach in patient management. Ambulatory care focuses on providing timely medical attention to children with acute, chronic, and complex illnesses while minimizing hospitalization. It revolves around patient-centric care, enabling young patients to receive treatment within their home or community, thus enhancing their overall experience.

A Multifaceted Approach

Throughout her presentation, Piper presented several scenarios exemplifying the impact of ambulatory care on pediatric patients. From managing pneumonia cases and unexplained fevers to facilitating intravenous antibiotic treatments, ambulatory care showcased its adaptability and efficacy. Even in instances requiring admission, ambulatory care plays a pivotal role in facilitating a smooth transition from hospital to home-based care.

Navigating Challenges in Ambulatory Care

Addressing Patient Journeys

Piper acknowledged the intricacies of patient journeys that span multiple care settings. She highlighted the challenge of accurately capturing these journeys within existing data systems, emphasizing the need for comprehensive reporting mechanisms to ensure seamless care coordination. Ambulatory care blurs the lines between inpatient and outpatient care, and novel approaches are required to capture and manage patient data effectively.

Fostering Collaborative Partnerships

Collaboration emerged as a cornerstone of successful ambulatory care implementation. Piper stressed the importance of forging partnerships between pediatric and adult healthcare teams. By leveraging each team’s expertise, resources, and experience, an integrated approach could be developed, optimizing care for pediatric patients who require interventions such as PICC lines.

Putting Patients First: The Essence of Ambulatory Care

Patient-Centred Approach

By offering families the choice of home-based care, ambulatory care respects the comfort and well-being of young patients. This approach resonates with parents who seek to minimize extended hospital stays for their children, creating a more conducive healing environment.

Unpacking Cost Implications

While cost savings may not be the primary driver of ambulatory care, there are potential financial benefits. There is a reduction in transfer costs and better utilization of inpatient resources. However, the focus should still remain on delivering superior patient care.

Susie Piper’s insightful talk illuminated the transformative potential of ambulatory care within the realm of paediatric medicine. By embracing this patient-focused approach, healthcare providers can usher in a new era of flexibility and personalized care. Challenges notwithstanding, the power of partnerships, innovative data systems, and an unwavering commitment to patient welfare are essential in navigating the complex landscape of ambulatory care.

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