Is at-home-care the hospital of the future?

 
The risks of going into a hospital are pretty well known.

There’s a risk of developing an infection.

Risk that your doctor will make a mistake… or subject you to unnecessary tests.

(Remember, medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.)

There are health risks from inactivity during your hospital stay.

Plus, getting any decent sleep in a hospital bed is darn near impossible as nurses and other healthcare people are constantly poking and prodding you.

And it’s less than quiet, regardless what time of day it is.

It’s no wonder some folks end up leaving the hospital in worse shape than when they walked in.

But a new pilot study aims to change all that.

The trial was done by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Over 90 adults participated.

Each had been admitted to the emergency departments with acute conditions like… worsening heart failure, worsening chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.

All lived within 5 miles of the hospital and had homes that were equipped to handle hospital machinery.

As the study subjects were admitted, researchers randomized the participants… some stayed at the hospital for care while the others got their medical care at home.

Home care included nurse and physician visits, intravenous medications, remote monitoring, video communication, and point-of-care testing.

And the outcome? Outstanding for at-home care.

The patients receiving care at home had total costs that were almost 40 percent lower than for patients being treated at the hospital.

At-home patients had fewer lab orders, less imaging (like X-ray and MRI), and had fewer consultations.

They were also more physically active during treatment compared to the hospital patients, which improved healing.

All of this led to a 70% lower readmission rate within 30 days for at-home patients.

Reduced expenses, improved care, and more physical activity? Sounds good to me.

At-home care is something more hospitals should be providing.

Because isn’t the ultimate goal for everyone better care at a lower expense?

About Jeff Reagan, Editor, Jeff Reagan's Daily Health Newsletter for Conservatives

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