Patients largely prefer to receive care at home, a USA Today article finds, leading to an increasing number of doctors and hospitals working through a “hospital at home” model of care.
The USA Today article includes a photo tour of how the hospital-at-home model looks, following a care provider to and from the patient’s home.
The relatively new model is “testing traditional notions” of providing care to people who are chronically ill or who have acute medical issues, USA Today says, but it is leading to better outcomes in many cases and is gaining attention in light of widespread health care problems in the U.S.
USA Today writes:
“…Hospital-at-home programs refashion care for chronically ill patients with acute medical issues, testing traditional notions of how to treat people who become seriously ill. Only a handful of the initiatives exist, including [an] Albuquerque program, run by Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and programs in Honolulu, Boise New Orleans and Portland, Ore., offered through theVeterans Health Administration.
The concept is getting more attention with increased pressure from the national health overhaul to improve the quality of medical care and lower costs. Hospital-at-home programs do both, according to research led by the concept’s pioneer, Bruce Leff, director of geriatric health services research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.
In a study of three experimental hospital-at-home programs published in 2005 in theAnnals of Internal Medicine, Leff demonstrated that patient outcomes were similar or better, satisfaction was higher, and costs were 32% less than for traditional hospitalizations.
…Excluded from the program are patients who are medically unstable or who cannot be cared for adequately at home. “The patient, the family, the nurse, the doctor and the referring physician all need to feel if it’s safe,” said Scott Mader, clinical director of rehabilitation and long-term care at the Portland VA Medical Center. If patients take a turn for the worse, an ambulance is summoned to take them to the hospital….
Read the original USA Today article.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker