EBOS Healthcare’s had the privilege and pleasure of sitting down with the CEO of Day Hospitals Australia, Jane Griffiths.

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What is Day Hospitals Australia?
Day Hospitals Australia is a membership organisation that is the peak industry body for the Day Hospital sector. Day Hospitals Australia represents more than 72% of day hospitals across the country, supporting and representing their members and advocating for the industry. Specifically, day hospitals are licensed and accredited free-standing facilities admitting patients for treatment that is conducted within a 23-hour window.

What sets day hospitals apart from inpatient or overnight hospitals?
What sets day hospitals apart from overnight hospitals is their innovative model of care that provides an improved patient experience, creating a world of difference. This revolves explicitly around pre-admission assessment and education, swift patient turnover, constant patient communication, ease of disability accommodation, and clinical follow-up post discharge. Comparatively, inpatient, or overnight hospitals providing same day services are less efficient, have longer waiting times after admission, and limited follow-up, post discharge.

What inspired Jane to get into the day hospital space, and her reason for her long-standing service?
Prior to her service with Day Hospitals Australia, she was Business Manager and Director of Nursing at the Perth Dermatology Clinic. Jane’s passion for day hospitals blossomed from an idea between Jane and her previous CEO at a large corporate hospital where the theatre suite above their hospital’s medical centre could be used for same-day surgery. Their mutual passion led Jane to venture beyond Australian shores to the ambulatory surgery units of the USA – a system that she envisioned could greatly benefit the Australian healthcare system in relation to efficiency, quality care and cost-effectiveness.

Jane was determined to engage with this new transformative healthcare offering.
Shortly after her CEO left the organisation, Jane also exited and then assisted in the establishment of a day hospital. For 15 years, Jane was able to expand her knowledge base through her experiences running day hospitals and consulting for them across the country.

These experiences instilled in Jane a life-long enthusiasm for the Day Hospital sector, seen through her gradual promotion from Day Hospitals Australia board member in 2009 to president in 2010 and to CEO in 2014, where she remains an essential part of Day Hospitals Australia fabric. Jane's rich tapestry of life experiences reflects in the growth and prosperity of Day Hospitals Australia during her tenure.

What are the challenges of integrating new advancements into the day hospital space?
Day hospitals are a crucial asset to Australian healthcare. However, certain disadvantages have impeded the growth of day hospitals, ultimately demonstrating the need for the advocacy provided by Day Hospitals Australia.

Jane identifies that at the core of these disadvantages are the financial constraints that day hospitals endure on account of the current funding model.

The private health insurers on average pay the overnight private hospitals 40% more for the same services compared to the day hospital sector. Day hospitals are least likely amongst the private hospital sector to receive contracts from private health insurers. This uncertainty of funding particularly for new day hospitals has contributed to their inability to provide more complex surgeries, such as orthopaedic procedures, as modelled by day hospitals in the UK, US, and Europe. This is beginning to change however with some of the major health insurers recognising the value proposition of day hospitals and what services are possible.

Furthermore, the quality and safety of care delivered in day hospitals, which tend to specialise in specific services, is often better than that received in an overnight hospital. Recent evidence demonstrates that elderly patients treated in day hospitals recover well and do not tend to suffer confusion and falls as they return to their own familiar environment. Treatment in the day hospital environment should be the way of the future for both the private and public hospital systems, delivering safe, quality efficient care at a lower cost.

What is the most important aspect of this partnership with EBOS Healthcare Australia?
A major focus of Day Hospitals Australia is the advocacy and support they provide for their members and the sector as a whole, whilst ensuring that the government (both federal and jurisdictional), private health insurers, various medical bodies, colleges, societies, and consumers all understand the benefit of day hospitals.

The EBOS Healthcare sponsorship agreement with Day Hospitals Australia will support further growth of the organisation and assist the Association as it strives to achieve its objectives.