Is Home Care the Future of Medical Care?

Home visiting is coming back and thanks to the pandemic, local hospitals have kicked off their programs and brought them into people’s homes.

OHIO, United States – The future of healthcare goes back to the past. Home visiting is coming back and thanks to the pandemic, local hospitals have kicked off their programs and brought them into people’s homes.

When Janora Johnson developed what doctors believed to be COVID-19, she was discharged from the emergency room. Her medical team at the teaching hospitals thought it was the safest place for her. She became the first patient of the Home Care program at the UH which started in April.

“It was like I was in the hospital, every morning the environmental services would come to clean and disinfect my house, a home aide to help me with my personal care, the EMT would come every day, like three at four times a day the doctor came to my house, ”Janora said.

Thirty patients have since used the program.

“We are truly creating inpatient hospitalization, providing all aspects of in-home patient care,” said Jodi Arth, Cleveland University Hospitals Systems Operations Manager for Clinical Delivery.

“Everything that happened in the hospital actually happened at home,” Janora said.

This includes x-rays, ultrasounds, IVs, and even all meals.

“Anything that someone would get in the hospital, we bring it to them, so whether it is equipment that they would use during their stay in the hospital, we also deliver it to the patients,” explained Arth.

COVID meant restrictions on visiting the hospital, but not at home.

“This kind of thing helps you, having people around you when you are feeling down”

Care is covered by insurance and patients are assessed to determine if this type of care model would be the best for their recovery.

A year before the start of the UH program, MetroHealth launched “Hospital at Home”. Within two hours of the assessment, a courier brings a tablet and home monitoring equipment, such as a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter, as well as a bag of food directly to the patient’s home.

The patient then virtually talks to medical staff three times a day and their vital signs are automatically uploaded so the team can monitor. Although this program is primarily virtual, Metro is considering expanding it.

Patients tend to feel better in familiar surroundings and it alleviates the stress of being away from the comforts and responsibilities of home. It’s not for everyone, but it’s becoming an essential, cost-effective way for hospitals to save beds for the most critical while taking care of those in need. Other hospitals have established home visits in the past, especially for geriatric patients, but it is now becoming an option for almost everyone.

* Editor’s Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.