CLEVELAND — University Hospitals in Cleveland has introduced UH Hospital@Home. It aims to enable the hospital to reach more patients. It provides a broad range of medical services, including social work, nutrition, nursing, occupational, physical, speech therapists, pharmacists, home health aides, and paramedics.
The team is led by nurses who organize everything from daily in-person visits with a paramedic from UH’s EMS Institute, daily visits (either in-home or virtual visits) by a provider, daily visits (in-home or virtual visits) by a registered nurse, and 24/7 access to the UH@Home Care team. The teams deliver meals, medication such as oxygen, prescription medication, and infusions, as well as laboratory, radiology, and other services.
“Having that firsthand knowledge of patient needs and understanding their environment is critical to keeping them safe and helping them get better. Bringing the full power of UH care to patients in their own home, care is safer for them and promotes a healing environment because they are comfortable in their own home and do not worry about what will happen to their care when they leave the hospital. We are with them every step of the way,” said University Hospitals VP of Integrated Delivery Operations Melissa Cole.
“During the early days of the pandemic, we introduced UHRemote, a remote patient monitoring system that allows us to keep tabs on COVID-19 patients’ heart rate and blood oxygenation levels. A team of nurses, each with multiple screens, watched dashboards of patient data and received alerts from wearable devices if a patient’s numbers were too high or too low. We learned much from the over 2,200 patients we cared for over the past year, and often heard how grateful they were to not be isolated from family alone in the hospital. We combined the experiences from UHRemote with the decades of experience of our Home Health teams, added in a few more services, and UH Hospital@Home was born,” Cole continued, noting the way of how the experiences during the pandemic helped pave the way for this innovative first of its kind program.
The comprehensive care program is currently for patients who require an inpatient stay and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, COPD, community-acquired pneumonia, or cellulitis. In the future, the program may expand for patients with other medical and even some surgical diagnoses.