Health Care Homes a positive move for patients but funding commitment critical
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of the 10 Primary Health Network regions across Australia involved in stage one of the Health Care Homes (HCH) model.

ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said, “If Health Care Homes prove to be effective in coordinating ongoing comprehensive care for people with chronic and complex conditions, a long-term funding commitment must be made to secure the service model into the future”.

ACN is in strong support of this important initiative that will use an alternative to the fee-for-service service model and focus on reforming how health care is provided to people with chronic and complex health care needs. It is essential that the trial of HCHs is given every chance of success and is not undermined by inadequate resourcing.

“The Health Care Home model has great potential but, in addition to adequate funding, its successful implementation will depend on the active engagement of consumers and all relevant health and allied health professionals. Furthermore, the development of sound guidelines and tools that embed systems integration and collaboration, as well as comprehensive training and communication strategies are required to support Health Care Homes,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.

ACN is well positioned to work with the Health Care Homes Implementation Advisory Group and the Government to provide strategies on how to best design a HCH model that makes maximum use of the nursing profession in the provision of the highest quality care to the Australian community.

“Nurses make up the largest group of health professionals in Australia and play a vital role in health service delivery at every stage of a patient’s journey. Navigating the health system can be challenging but nurses are adept at guiding patients, supporting better patient outcomes and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions. Nurses will be a big part of Health Care Homes being a success. Nurses are pivotal in coordinating care through a complex health and aged care system,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.