IU Health expanding hospital at home program
October 26, 2020
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University Health
is expanding its hospital at home program that allows select patients with serious illnesses to be cared for where they are most comfortable: in their own home.
Launched in April for ill COVID-19 patients, the hospital at home program has proven so successful that IU Health will broaden the service to patients with other illnesses that don’t necessarily require acute in-hospital care, including some patients with congestive heart failure, pneumonia and other infections.
Initially the expanded program will be available starting in early November for qualified patients at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Over the coming months the program will reach patients served by multiple IU Health hospitals around the state.
To participate in the program, patients must meet defined criteria starting with their medical condition and including social factors such as having a safe home environment or appropriate home support dependent on condition. Hospital at home combines technology tools such as telemonitoring, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters to enable a patient’s vital signs and condition to be closely monitored remotely.
Care available 24/7
Patients can reach a provider 24/7 and have access to all the medical specialists available in an acute-care hospital. Additionally, patients will be cared for by home health nurses who give medications, provide education, and coordinate care for patients enrolled in the program. Nurses will use iPads to conduct virtual visits, home monitoring devices to take vitals and will have access to in-home radiology services such as x-rays, Dopplers, or ultrasounds if needed.
“This program is a proven way to increase the value of care for our patients by delivering high quality at lower costs,” said Dr. Greg Kiray, IU Health senior vice president for population health. “We still need our hospitals – this program is not going to replace them. But it can work well for a certain percentage of patients who can be well cared-for at home while keeping hospital beds open for those who require inpatient care.”
IU Health proved the value of the program caring for more than 150 ill COVID-19 patients whose recovery times at home were within expected ranges, with low hospital re-admissions. The program was also designed to improve patient satisfaction during this challenging time while Indiana faces a pandemic by allowing patients to receive care in the comfort of their homes.
To make its innovative hospital at home program work smoothly for patients, IU Health has tapped the resources of its highly skilled care network, ranging from hospitalists and inpatient nurses to home health caregivers and including experts in remote monitoring, integrated care management and population health.
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