Capacity - The Human Right to choose

Sometimes when our patients have cognitive impairment, it affects their ability to make decisions about their lifestyle, accomodation and health care. There can be lots of different reasons why they may not have the insight or judgement to be able to make safe decisions but when this is imapired or we are concerned about a patients decision making ability, the assessment process to determine this ability takes significant amount of time (at times weeks). This often significantly delays the discharging for these patients and they are generally always "well" at the time they are assessed - they are well patients in our acute medical beds. But they may not be safe to return to the community and may require another decision maker to be appointed (this is another discharge delay - the QCAT process). Streamlining the assessment process and adding timeframes and acountability as well as defining roles and responsibilities and having a role to oversee this process and keep it on track will save significant bed days. 

Why the contribution is important

Patient benefit - their experience - "well" patients not being "stranded" in hospital when they dont want to be here - and safe discharge destination and decision maker identified where needed. 

Organisation benefit - reduction in bed days, better patient outcomes for discharge, less risk of poor outcomes or legal challenges. 

by RosieK on May 28, 2019 at 12:37PM

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  • Posted by VelliG May 28, 2019 at 16:10

    I would imagine it would also help if patients had already nominated a preference with an 'enduring power of attorney', prior to hospital admission. Would it help if GP clinics and Outpatient clinics increased strategic promotion of EPAs in their communities? Perhaps in partnership with Office of the Pubic Trustee?
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