Hospital at Home program helps expand patient care optionsFeb. 21, 2022, 1:49 PM
by Matt Batcheldor
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has launched a Hospital at Home program that allows patients to remain in the comfort of their own home while receiving treatment for acute medical issues that would have previously required hospitalization.
“This program is part of Vanderbilt’s concerted effort to treat patients in the right place at the right time,” said Victor Legner, MD, MS, executive medical director of Primary Care and associate professor of Medicine. The program is intended to reduce hospitalizations, improve the experience of care, improve patient outcomes and increase capacity.
Vanderbilt will bring even higher-level care to the home setting and stronger collaboration with the patient and family.
“We are excited to provide this innovative care model to patients,” said Tara Horr, MD, medical director of Hospital at Home and assistant professor of Medicine. “Hospital at Home allows patients to receive the same standard of high-quality care that they would normally receive within our hospital walls in the comfort of their own home. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team has thoughtfully worked to deliver comprehensive health care to support our community in this home-based care model.”
Here’s how it works: Vanderbilt’s nurses and providers help determine whether a patient is appropriate for the program, considering both clinical and home safety. The patient and caregivers are then engaged and agree to have care at home. Transportation to the patient’s home will be arranged, and a nurse will see the patient upon arrival at home and set up a remote patient monitoring system that will allow the team to monitor basic vital signs.
Patients are given a tablet with a simple button that allows them to connect to the care team via telehealth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nurses and nurse practitioners visit a minimum of twice per day to forward the care plan, manage medication, vital signs and patient and family communication. Based on the patient’s diagnosis, supplies, medications or therapy services are provided in the home.
The program is currently able to care for five patients and is intended to expand over time. The program accepts patients who are clinically appropriate for Hospital at Home and have been assessed in VUMC’s Emergency Department or inpatient setting.
The care team represents expertise from Vanderbilt Home Care, Hospital Medicine, and Vanderbilt University Hospital. The care team features nurses, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, nurse practitioners and physicians. Partnering with the caregivers are those who provide transportation, food, medical equipment, medication and access to telehealth and remote imaging services.