Brigham and Women’s Hospital increased inpatient capacity and access to care when providers treated acute patients at home, new research shows.
The Boston-based facility’s home hospital program treated 65 acutely ill patients over a three-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic, which freed up 419 inpatient beds, according to a Brigham and Women’s report. to study published Friday in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Home hospital patients facing infections or complications associated with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma received daily home or remote visits from general internists who cared for them, two daily home visits from registered nurses, and had access to a doctor 24 hours. remote monitoring and coverage tools.
“We know that home hospital programs can provide high-quality care to patients from the comfort of their home,” said Dr. David Levine, Brigham general internist and lead author of the study, said in a news release. “Our study shows that this model may also be effective during a pandemic to free up hospital beds during a surge when treating non-COVID patients at home.”
Although the study does not compare the results, the researchers referred to analysis which found that hospital-at-home programs had similar quality, safety, and experience metrics compared to traditional hospital care. The length of stay of the patients in the new study was five days and 12.3% were readmitted within 30 days.
Home hospital care is about 38% less expensive than traditional hospital treatment and is much more efficient and cost-effective than makeshift archived hospitals, according to the study.
Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital limited their analysis to two sites, a small cohort of doctors and pandemic conditions in Boston.
More than 145 hospitals began home hospital care after CMS expanded a temporary payment model in November 2020, the researchers wrote.
Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente, for example, recently invested $ 100 million in Medically Home as they map out a national plan for complex home care.
“Home hospitals may represent a key response mechanism for a pandemic, but there is also great evidence for their use when there is no pandemic – patients do well and report great experiences receiving care at home,” Levine said.