The Geri-Connect model uses telehealth technology to improve access to specialised care for older people living in residential aged-care facilities. The Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund is supporting the scaling of this model across the West Hume region.

The Geri-Connect scaling project was implemented in May 2019 and will continue to March 2020. As part of the project, comprehensive geriatric assessments will be offered via telehealth to eight public residential aged-care facilities in the West Hume region.

Background

The Geri-Connect model was first implemented in 2017 by Bendigo Health with support from the Loddon Mallee Rural Health Alliance and funding from the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund 2016-17 round.

The 2017 project aimed to improve access to specialised care for older people living in residential aged-care facilities in the Loddon Mallee region. Telehealth was used to provide a sustainable, specialist geriatrician service to these facilities.

Key outcomes from the Geri-Connect project included:

  • an 82 per cent reduction in response times for Aged Care Assessment Service assessments for eligible inpatients awaiting permanent placement in a residential aged care facility
  • the delivery of 240 consultations in nine months
  • 89 per cent of individual patients seen received recommendations to reduce polypharmacy
  • 30 per cent of residents at participating residential aged-care facilities had assessments completed – previously only 5 per cent had assessments completed
  • An overwhelmingly positive experience for clients and families/carers, as well as for clinicians.

Participating health services

Lead health services:

  • Bendigo Health
  • Goulburn Valley Health

Partnering health services:

  • Hume Rural Health Alliance
  • Loddon Mallee Shared Services
  • NCN Health
  • Murray Primary Health Network

Find out more

Email the team at bcv@safercare.vic.gov.au or call 03 9096 2761.