Hospital in the Home (HITH) involves the provision of acute care interventions by health care professionals to patients in their place of residence.
It is part of a world-wide trend in developed countries to move away from the provision of care within institutions. HITH programs have been operating in NSW since the 1980s, largely as initiatives of individual Area Health Services (AHS). As a result, different funding models and organisational arrangements exist. For example, HITH can be provided through hospitals and community services either as a general (hospital-wide) or specialist (based in a clinical division) program. Further, there is now considerable experience in the provision of HITH, both in Australia and internationally. This includes evidence about the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HITH services. This experience suggests that HITH provides a viable alternative for provision of acute health services, but there are a number of issues for health services managers to consider when deciding whether to implement HITH to ensure that it is most likely to provide a successful alternative to inpatient care. The aim of this paper is to set out these issues in the form of a resource document for health service managers.