Have you ever wondered if your aged loved ones could receive treatment and improved care in the comfort of their own homes or if you could grow old in a familiar space? Thanks to the Hospital at Home model, this can now very well become a possibility.
While hospitals are generally believed to be the best place for healthcare, there have been many cases where older patients have experienced a further decline during their stay. Lack of optimal geriatric healthcare in hospitals has been a topic for debate for the past two decades. However, there is only so much an institute can do to improve the quality of care it offers. The elderly tend to form an emotional attachment to their homes and that is what this entire model revolves around. And this is why healthcare providers now agree that the most effective solution is to provide healthcare at home.
In this article we will cover:
- What is Hospital at Home?
- Advantages of Hospital at Home
- Disadvantages of Hospital at Home
- How Home-based Healthcare Improves Elderly Healthcare?
- What Are the Challenges of Hospitalization at Home?
What is Hospital at Home?
Hospital at Home HaH is an initiative that aims to improve the quality of healthcare for the elderly through optimal at-home healthcare. The program seeks to limit the number of hospital visits and stays thus improving care. While this program is currently targeted towards senior citizens, it is likely to expand and cover all age groups including pediatric care.
Advantages of Hospital at Home
It is worth understanding how being in a homey environment can speed up recovery and improve patient care. Here are a few pros of this model:
Possibility of Reduced Costs
The cost of healthcare is rising drastically, making it difficult for patients to afford quality treatment. In many cases, the hospital at home model can reduce costs especially for those who are in for a lengthy recovery. However, it’s important to understand that home care can quickly add up over time pertaining to the health services needed by the patient.
In many ways, the HaH model encourages independence as the elderly and their family to have greater say on how the treatment is moving forward. Receiving health care at home also prevents elderly from having to move into an assisted living facility however, one must ensure that this does not lead to isolation. Thus, family and friends must take active role in becoming part of the program.
Improved Quality of Care
It’s possible for healthcare providers to display negligence in a hospital environment when they are to care for multiple patients at the same time. Home hospital care reduces the chances of negligence as patients receive one-on-one attention. At home, patients receive individualized care that is specially designed for their special needs.
Active Family Participation
One of the key advantages of this model is that families get to play an active role in the recovery and treatment of their loved ones. It may take some time for the family to adjust to their new routines but in the long run, being surrounded by family and friends can speed up recovery.
Disadvantages of Hospital at Home
Since this model is relatively new, you and your loved ones may have limited options or may even struggle to find the right caregivers to suit your needs. However, this problem can easily be resolved by reaching out to agencies such as Caring People to help find the right match.
The elderly can quickly start to feel isolated if they are not surrounded by loved ones or a senior community. While it is admirable to live an independent life, certain measures should be taken to ensure that the elderly feel loved and comforted.
In a home environment, health care professionals may display neglect especially if there are no family members to oversee care. This is more likely if the patient lives alone and can drastically impact care.
At Caring People, we believe that the effectiveness of healthcare will improve if the patient is within their comfortable homes, surrounded by their loved ones.
In the attached webinar, Dr. Claire Davenport provides insightful information on the HaH initiative and the way it is innovating healthcare delivery for the elderly. Claire is a Geriatrician and Bioethicist. She is also a vital member of Mount Sinai, one of New York’s major hospital systems, HaH team.
How Home-based Healthcare Improves Elderly Healthcare?
The entire model of home-based care revolves around the proven notion of treating older patients in a familiar and convenient environment. This method of healthcare delivery can improve communication, coordination, and continuity. It can also reduce the risk of frequent hospital admissions and readmissions.
Dr. Davenport highlighted the success of the model by giving a brief overview of how it started with 17 patient pilot program by Dr. Bruce Leff in 1995. In 2014, Mount Sinai HaH received a CMS grant and evaluated a 30-day bundled payment model for fee-for-service Medicare.
By 2017, the team started to develop a sustainable model supported by insurance contracts and joint venture capital companies. The program is now serving 820 patients.
The overall satisfaction rate has improved for the patient as well as for their loved ones and caregivers. It is also known that HaH experienced reduces caregiver stress which further contributes to better care.
What Are the Challenges of Hospitalization at Home?
Creating a sustainable business model is the biggest challenge the HaH team is currently working on. There are many opportunities including joint venture forms, partnering with Medicare or working with insurance contracts. The demand for home-based care is rising and the team is quickly catching up with the help of its partners and vendors. The number of team members is increasing as more and more professionals are realizing the potential of home-based healthcare and hospitalization program.
As more patients and professionals join the team, quality metrics are being set to further improve the outcomes of the program. Team HaH is constantly offering educational programs to early adopters to maximize the scope of the home hospitalization model.
The biggest ally of the HaH team in this entire struggle is the rapidly developing technology. The telehealth technology presents numerous opportunities to improve the overall delivery of healthcare services to a patient who is away from the hospital. It is bridging the distance between patients and healthcare providers, improving the way they communicate.
The Future of Revolutionary Healthcare Delivery Method
Hospital homecare is not just transforming healthcare for the elderly; it is revolutionizing it. It aligns not only with a patient’s healthcare requirements, but also their values and comfort zone. It can save your loved ones from the mental and physical hazards of hospitalization.
The home hospitalization model has the potential to reduce the risk as well as the cost of optimal healthcare delivery. Caregivers will be able to offer more patient-centered healthcare.
It is a model backed by decades of research and studies and now supported by disruptive technologies. Multiple stakeholders including caregivers, policy makers, service providers, and professionals have joined hand in the pursuit of optimizing elderly healthcare. We are not just looking at an alternative geriatric care delivery model; we are looking at the future of healthcare in America.