How hotels are doing their bit to help with coronavirus recovery

Hotels hope to help ease the burden on our struggling health system.

How hotels are doing their bit to help with coronavirus recovery

The RMIT-Cisco Health Transformation Lab is partnering with MediStays to launch a critical new self-isolation accommodation service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative will connect patients, families and health workers who need to self-isolate, providing them with dedicated and discounted self-isolation accommodation close to hospitals around the country.

The accommodation service includes ensuring hotel rooms have wifi for patients requiring telehealth appointments, the delivery of meals and groceries, and coordination of care workers and nurses.

This will ease the burden on hospitals, and support individuals to isolate ‘well’, all the while making use of unoccupied hotel rooms and supporting the tourism industry.

empty hotel

MediStays already works with hospitals and not-for-profit patient lodgings, as well as hotels with occupancy rates of less than 20 per cent, to provide discounted accommodation near hospitals for three critical groups:

  • patients who are immunocompromised and need accommodation as they elect to self-isolate to protect themselves from COVID19
  • those with confirmed or suspected COVID19, who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, and can be accommodated in a hotel or apartment and supported by care and health workers from community nurse partner Bolton Clarke
  • healthcare workers who are at higher risk than the general population and who are now electing to stay closer to the hospital to either avoid putting their families at risk or to ensure quality rest as they experience longer hours and on-call duties.

“At a time of unprecedented strain on the traditional parts of our health system, we need to quickly and flexibly release new capacity into and around our hospitals and care institutions,” said Health Transformation Lab director Professor Vishaal Kishore.

“MediStays is a proven model and this new partnered initiative enables them to bring on capacity really quickly to help support people in a time of crisis.

“At the same time, it alleviates potentially unprecedented demand on hospitals, while utilising latent hotel rooms to support the industry, which is experiencing record low occupancy rates.”

MediStays hopes this arrangement helps to relieve the strain on the health system and its workers.

“Our overarching aim, really, is to safely accommodate people outside of hospitals and take pressure off the health system,” said MediStays co-founder Associate Professor Sarah Everitt.

“MediStays is already a well-known and valuable resource for hospital staff and not-for-profit organisations who have been coming to us for several years now to coordinate trusted and discounted accommodation for patients, their carers and families.

“By teaming with the Health Transformation Lab, we can rapidly scale up this coordinated accommodation service in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are working closely with our accommodation partners to identify safe hospital alternatives for guests with and without a suspected or positive COVID-19 diagnosis.”

The hotel industry has been overwhelmingly supportive of the new self-isolation service.

“Having launched our new website two weeks ago, we had just under 100 property partners on MediStays at the beginning of last week. In the past week alone, we have been contacted by a further 250 properties wanting to offer their rooms and, in some cases, entire hotels, to people impacted by COVID-19, whether they be patients, vulnerable people who are self-isolating or health workers who need to rest but remain close to their place of work,” said Assoc. Prof. Everitt.

For more information and interviews, please contact Rachel Wells at the Health Transformation Lab on: 0402 354 321 or email: [email protected]

What do you think of this idea?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    28th Mar 2020
    Granted I have never heard of these organizations before and the idea sounds wonderful but I am wondering just how "discounted" the many and varied services are. Whether they are really within the financial range of the average person who may need to use them or whether this is a wonderful business opportunity such as Jerry Harvey claimed recently. I should imagine it would cost quite a bit to thoroughly clean all rooms and areas after each person's stay.
    Chris B T
    28th Mar 2020
    I hope after This Pandemic the Hotels are Cleaned Better Than The Ships.
    Covid 19 found on a swab test some days after Quarantine Passengers Left the Ship.
    Scientist in Virology are saying there could be a second wave if All The Necessary Precautions are not Taken.
    Hospital grade material used and a Through Clean.
    28th Mar 2020
    Wow! Only two comment so far and BOTH with a negative view of the proposal.

    Maybe they don't understand different models of care. Hotel accommodation being used as surrogate hospital beds is not new. It is frequently used for example after birth, after some forms of cosmetic surgery even in Australia but particularly in other countries. It is an accepted model of care.

    We have to look at all options if we are to prepare for an eventuality we all hope will not actually happen.
    Chris B T
    29th Mar 2020
    I take it that All of those overseas arrivals, only contracted the Covid 19 in Australia.
    Big Difference to Known carriers to Unknown, this virus knows Boundaries or Types of People.
    That is why the Quarantine is in Place because of the Unknown, plus the containment if someone arriving from overseas has the Virus.
    This stops the Spread of the Virus, as 2/3 of Covid 19 has been Imported.
    The first ship that had Covid 19 Passengers on Board still had the Covid 19 Virus on hard surfaces some days Later after passengers disembarked so much for cleaning.

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