New Partnership Allows Patients to Receive Hospital Care at Home
In mid-July, a breathing issue prompted Golden Valley resident Marjorie Gores to head to North Memorial’s emergency room. It’s a setting in which she’s not particularly fond of.
“I have arthritis and it’s hard for me to get around,” Gores said. “And I just hate when you have to go to the hospital and park in a parking lot and walk out, find your elevator and the floor you’re supposed to be on.”
Under normal circumstances, she likely would have stayed at North Memorial overnight. But staff members in the ER presented her with the option to receive hospital-level treatment at home rather than in the hospital setting.
“And I said, well that sounds like something I would like a lot,” Gores said.
‘Better care for the right people’
Just like that, Gores became one of the first 20 patients to take part in a new program that launched in the spring called Hospital@Home.
“This is really one of the most rewarding projects I’ve been involved in,” said Dr. Nick Schneeman, chief medical officer of Lifesprk, which oversees Hospital@Home and has an exclusive partnership with North Memorial.
“What we found, this isn’t really a hospital substitution program, it’s better care, for the right people,” Dr. Schneeman said.
When patients sign up for Hospital@Home, they’re given a tablet and other equipment that allows them to monitor vital signs.
“You just sit here and get all this done in one sitting, which I think is terrific,” Gores said.
Throughout the course of her Hospital@Home “stay,” Gores can meet with medical professionals, either virtually or in-person, to monitor her progress.
“As long as [patients] don’t need frequent lab testing, multiple consultations, the operating room, the ICU, there are many elderly patients that can be successfully managed at home,” Dr. Schneeman said.
From a broader perspective, the program helps hospitals from being overwhelmed if they ever have a COVID-19-related surge. And from Gores’s standpoint, it keeps her out of a place where she didn’t want to be in the first place.
“I don’t want to be where the germs are,” she said.