MetroHealth Uses Grant To Fund At-Home Hospital Recovery Technology
Healthcare systems have made it easier for patients to remotely visit a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, one local hospital is taking it further by bringing the hospital to the patient.
Caregivers at MetroHealth can now keep track of patients’ heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs while they recover at home instead of the hospital.
The hospital used a $900,000 grant from the Federal Communications Commission to expand its Hospital at Home program and purchase 300 device kits of monitoring equipment, including Web cams, software and tablets.
“It’s not just monitoring with technology – there are specific clinical protocols,” said Dr. Nabil Chehade, Senior Vice President at MetroHealth. “Those are very important differentiators from other remote monitoring. This is truly meant to substitute a stay at the hospital.”
Those protocols include daily video and phone check-ins from caregivers.
Chehade said the Hospital at Home program benefits both providers and patients, but insurers must get on board for it to be sustainable.
“We are basically betting that we can convince the payer that this is a good setting for the care, that we can potentially get reimbursed for such service,” Chehade said.
Chehade said the program had been in the works for several years, but efforts to get it up and running were fast-tracked in response to the pandemic. He said current patients in the program have mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, but MetroHealth hopes to enroll patients with other conditions as well.
“I strongly believe if we are able to deliver a high-quality care with, a minimum same quality outcome as an inpatient, and perhaps better… what is a better place than being at your own home?” he said.
Chehade also said he thinks this home hospital model will carry on into the future because it allows patients to receive care in their own homes while also freeing up hospital beds.