One of the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA 2021) https://americantelemed.org June Conference sessions focused on the Hospital at Home (H@H) program, a sustainable business model that allows caring for patients at home rather than in a hospital.
The speakers tackled a number of issues including the rationale for the H@H program, technical challenges, as well as policy debates that are needed to provide the best possible care solutions in today’s world
Kirsten Russell-Wood, Portfolio Leader Post-Acute and Home Philips Healthcare, as moderator for the panel discussion, called on Eric Rock Founder and CEO Vivify Health Eric explained how the H@H program brings various technologies into the home to enable RPM to provide instant connectivity. This means that in order to use H@H management effectively, operational readiness is required.
He also stressed how important it is to have home video available to provide a personal touch in delivering clinical care, provide technology that is not overly complex, do more with wearables, use a streaming approach, and at the same time increase bandwidth.
Robin Shepherd, Chief Nursing Officer, West Region, CommonSpirit Health, stressed the importance of H@H since the program not only keeps patients at home and frees up beds in hospitals. However, partnerships need to be to be created to enable physicians, nurses, and others to work together successfully.
The goal is to link technical requirements to team-based care, according to Alan Pitt MD, Professor of Neuroradiology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Also, patients need to partner with practitioners, the program has to recognize that the family is an additional resource for care.
To enable patients to understand the concept of the H@H program, Zenobia Brown MD VP and Medical Director, for Population Health at Northwell Health, wants to make sure that patients understand what is provided today in terms of care through H@H. She stressed that it is especially important to provide value based care in this model so that both patients and providers win.
She pointed out that hospital service at home has to be safe, good, and bring teams together which happens when selecting the right patients to participate in H@H which is key to the success of the care.
The speakers taking part in the discussion on H@H mentioned how important it is to also address healthcare inequities and disparities when dealing with the H@H evolution and at the same time, to always keep justice in the conversation. Also, there is a need to be innovative when addressing payment reform based care since one size fits all is not always possible when providing care.
Kristen Russell-Wood suggests that it is essential to develop a sustainable business model for a cutting edge idea so patients can be cared for at home with the assistance and care guidance from practitioners in the hospital setting.
He summed up by saying, “The recent CMS wavier has made what seemed impossible a short time ago, seem possible today. However, for H@H to become a reality and for a growing number of hospital systems to effectively care for patients in the home in today’s medical and healthcare environment, regulatory issues need to be addressed. This is needed to enable the H@H program to grow rapidly not only in the current environment but even more so in the future.