Submitted by Providence

Instead of four days and three nights in a bed at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Lacey resident John Turner spent that time recovering in the comfort of his own home thanks to the Providence Hospital at Home program that began July 12.

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John Turner and his wife were pleased when they found out John would not have to stay in the hospital while being treated. Photo courtesy: Providence

Turner ended up in the Providence St. Peter Hospital Emergency Room because a rash on his leg just wasn’t getting better. He’d seen his primary care physician, gotten basic antibiotics but the condition just kept getting worse.

“It was Friday night, and my doctor wasn’t available, so we went to the ER,” said Turner, who was born at St. Peter and has retired with his wife, Margo, to the Olympia area after a career in law enforcement. “It worked out great. I was able to sleep in my own bed, use my own bathroom facilities and I really liked the fact I was able to get home-cooked meals.”

Providence Hospital at Home delivers all the acute services needed to fulfill a patient’s care plan in their home setting. ED patients meeting inpatient criteria who reside within 30 minutes of the hospital and have qualifying diagnoses are given the option to be admitted “home” instead of being admitted to a room in the hospital. Patients are provided an advanced Patient Monitoring System with Bluetooth enabled peripherals to monitor temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and weights as well as a tablet to interface with a 24-hour nurse and physician command center.

Patients are cared for by both a virtual MD and RN team, and a team of in-home clinicians during their stay. Multiple safety protocols are put in place to ensure 24/7 clinical oversight and support for escalation of care back to the hospital if necessary.

“We didn’t know about this option, but it worked out great,” said Margo, John’s wife of 48 years who was able to help care for John at home rather than sit in a hospital room. “The technology worked very well and all the doctors, nurses and physical therapist we talked to were very helpful, knowledgeable and caring individuals.”

John Turner was a little surprised that he was even going to need the extra level of care. “Initially, I thought I they were just going to give me some more antibiotics, but when the ER doctor said I was going to need to be admitted for three days, I was a little shocked,” he said.“ Then they explained the Providence Hospital at Home program. “Having the option to go home made me feel better. I thought ‘well maybe I’m not dying,’” John Turner said with a chuckle.

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John and Margo Turner love to travel and are looking forward to planning their next vacation after John recovered thanks to the Providence Hospital at Home program. Photo courtesy: Providence

Within an hour of arriving home, the first nurse came to the Turner’s home to check his vitals and IV. The next day there were two in-home visits from a nurse and virtual visits with a physician. Day three was the same schedule and included a visit from a physical therapist.

“The therapist gave us some really good tips going forward,” said Margo.

On the fourth day, John was “released.”

“It was a great program and I’m glad it’s an option and will help free up hospital beds for others who might need them,” John Turner said. “When I went back and followed up with my primary care provider, I told him about it, and he was really impressed.”

Patients treated in Hospital at Home models have been shown to have improved outcomes and greater satisfaction with their care. Hospitals around the globe have shown Hospital at Home to:

  • Decrease readmission rate
  • Decrease mortality rate
  • Decrease falls
  • Decrease adverse events
  • Increase patient mobility
  • Increase caregiver satisfaction

“This type of service has been available for years in other countries and has started to grow in the United States though the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Providence SW Acute Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Caserta. “With the increased acceptance of telemedicine, it presents another option for our patients.”

The service is initially only available for Medicare patients, through the CMS Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver. As of this fall, only four hospitals in Washington have been approved for the waiver, and 139 throughout the U.S. As of November 1, more than a dozen patients have been admitted to the Providence Hospital at Home program at St. Peter.

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