Home Quick – Occupational Therapy Home Visits Using mHealth, to Facilitate Discharge from Acute Admission Back to the Community

Jacqueline Nix, Tracy Comans


This article reports upon an initiative to improve the timeliness of occupational therapy home visits for discharge planning by implementing technology solutions while maintaining patient safety. A community hospital in Queensland, Australia, hosted a process evaluation that examined which aspects of home visiting could be replaced or augmented by alternative technologies. Strategies were trialled, implemented and assessed using the number of home visits completed and the time from referral to completion as outcomes. A technology-enhanced solution called “Home Quick” was developed using technology to facilitate pre-discharge home visits. The implementation of Home Quick resulted in an increase in the number of home visits conducted prior to discharge (50% increase from 145 to 223) and significantly increased the number of patients seen earlier following referral (X2=69.3; p<0.001). The substitution of direct home visits with technology-enabled remote visits is suitable for a variety of home visiting scenarios traditionally performed by occupational therapists.



American Geriatrics Society/British Geriatric Society. (2011). Summary of the Updated American Geriatrics Society/British Geriatrics Society Clinical Practice Guideline for Prevention of Falls in Older Persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59, 148-157. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03234.x

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2004). Census of Population and Housing: Australia in Profile -- A Regional Analysis, 2001(Report No. 2032.0). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/7f4539e8fafedf68ca2568200018cd29/18a06e9e1296fb71ca2568a900143a6b!OpenDocument

Cason, J. (2012). Telehealth opportunities in occupational therapy through the Affordable Care Act. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 131-136. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.662001

Cason, J. (2014). Telehealth: A rapidly developing service delivery model for occupational therapy. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 6(1), 29-35. doi:10.5195/ijt.2014.6148

Cumming, R. G., Thomas, M., Szonyi, G., Frampton, G., Salkeld, G., & Clemson, L. (2001). Adherence to occupational therapist recommendations for home modifications for falls prevention.

American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 641-648.

Cumming, R. G., Thomas, M., Szonyi, G., Salkeld, G., O'Neill, E., Westbury, C., & Frampton, G. (1999). Home visits by an occupational therapist for assessment and modification of environmental hazards: A randomized trial of falls prevention. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47, 1397-1402.

Daniel, H., Oesch, P., Stuck, A. E., Born, S., Bachmann, S., & Schoenenberger, A. W. (2013). Evaluation of a novel photography-based home assessment protocol for identification of environmental risk factors for falls in elderly persons. Swiss Medical Weekly, 143, w13884. doi:10.4414/smw.2013.13884

Di Monaco, M., Vallero, F., De Toma, E., De Lauso, L., Tappero, R., & Cavanna, A. (2008). A single home visit by an occupational therapist reduces the risk of falling after hip fracture in elderly women: A quasi-randomized controlled trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 40, 446-450. doi:10.2340/16501977-0206

Dobrzanska, L., & Newell, R. (2006). Readmissions: A primary care examination of reasons for readmission of older people and possible readmission risk factors. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15, 599-606. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01333.x

The Health Roundtable. (2015). The Health Roundtable: Promoting innovation in healthcare. Retrieved from https://www.healthroundtable.org/JoinUs/Home/Welcome.aspx

Hoffmann, T., & Russell, T. (2008). Pre-admission orthopaedic occupational therapy home visits conducted using the internet. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 14, 83-87. doi:10.1258/jtt.2007.070808

McBride, R. C. (1995). An audit of current discharge planning arrangements and their effectiveness on elderly care wards and community nursing services together with aspects of client satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Management, 3, 19-24. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.1995.tb00062.x

Peterson, E. W., & Clemson, L. (2008). Understanding the role of occupational therapy in fall prevention for community-dwelling older adults. OT Practice, 13(3), 1-7.

Pighills, A. C., Torgerson, D. J., Sheldon, T. A., Drummond, A. E., & Bland, J. M. (2011). Environmental assessment and modification to prevent falls in older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59, 26-33. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03221.x

Sanford, J. A., Jones, M., Daviou, P., Grogg, K., & Butterfield, T. (2004). Using telerehabilitation to identify home modification needs. Assistive Technology, 16, 43-53. doi:10.1080/10400435.2004.10132073

Taylor, M. J., McNicholas, C., Nicolay, C., Darzi, A., Bell, D., & Reed, J. E. (2014). Systematic review of the application of the plan–do–study–act method to improve quality in healthcare. BMJ Quality and Safety, 23, 290-298.

Travers, C. M., McDonnell, G. D., Broe, G. A., Anderson, P., Karmel, R., Duckett, S. J., & Gray, L. C. (2008). The acute-aged care interface: Exploring the dynamics of 'bed blocking'. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 27, 116-120. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2008.00310.x

World Federation of Occupational Therapists. (2014). World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ position statement on telehealth. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 6(1), 37-39. doi:10.5195/IJT.2014.6153

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2017.6218



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Jacqueline Nix, Tracy Comans

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.