Intermountain Healthcare is expanding its home-based services this year to include primary care, some traditional hospital-level services, and palliative care for patients with chronic or serious medical conditions.
The new service, called Intermountain at Home, is a comprehensive program that will expand established Intermountain Homecare & Hospice services to prevent or shorten hospital admissions, and enable patients to receive care where they prefer to receive it — in their homes.
“Intermountain at Home is a thoughtful, proactive, and preventive healthcare approach that extends complex medical treatment and technologies beyond clinics and hospitals to help us care for patients in their own homes,” said Seth Glickman, MD, Intermountain chief medical officer of community-based care.
“This innovative program is designed around people, supporting first and foremost our patients who are at risk for hospitalization or complications, along with their families,” said Rajesh Shrestha, Intermountain chief operating officer of community-based care. “It will help us keep our patients comfortable and at home, continually connected with caregivers who will monitor their health status through Intermountain’s advanced clinical information systems when we’re not with them.”
“Intermountain at Home will help us care for patients with the same high levels of attention, safety, quality, and coordination we deliver in our traditional settings — all at a much lower cost,” Shrestha added. “This will be one of the nation’s most comprehensive models for providing care upstream and meeting patient preferences.”
Home-based nursing services were introduced at Intermountain in 1982 to transition patients safely home after hospital discharges. Since then, Intermountain Homecare & Hospice has continued to grow and now supports patients with home-based post-hospital, palliative, and end-of-life care as well as medical equipment maintenance.
Intermountain at Home will incorporate these services, and add other functions, over the next several months. These include ongoing home check-ups with a primary care physician or advanced practice clinician. These providers can address their patients’ medical needs and symptoms of chronic or serious medical conditions, without requiring patients to travel to a hospital or clinic.
Intermountain at Home will also help patients transition directly to new home-based, hospital-level services that will include:
- remote monitoring
- expanded telemedicine capabilities
- virtual urgent care visits through Intermountain Connect Care, a 24/7 online service that allows patients to receive personalized care from Intermountain caregivers via their smartphones, tablets, and computers
- appointment-based video visits
- home caregiver and family support tools
- dialysis and intravenous medication
- physical therapy
In addition, this new model will include daily living support through Homespire, an Intermountain company that helps seniors and other people live healthy and independent lives at home.
This support will focus on the social determinants of health, or factors in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that can impact their well-being and quality of life, including finances, education, physical environment, social support, coping skills, healthy behaviors, and access to health services.
“Providing these types of services in the home versus a traditional hospital setting has been proven to be effective in reducing complications, rehospitalizations, and trips to emergency departments while cutting the overall cost of care by 30 percent or more,” said Rebekah Couper-Noles, RN, Intermountain Healthcare’s chief nursing officer of community-based care. “This could result in benefits to our patients and our community including better quality of life, better access to healthcare, and lower healthcare costs.”
Currently, heart failure patients admitted to an Intermountain hospital have an average stay of 4.6 days and a 30-day rehospitalization rate of 13.6 percent. With Intermountain at Home, these patients could avoid hospitalization in the first place and receive the same face-to-face clinical care from providers and nurses, along with monitoring and medication administration at home, instead of in a hospital.
Additionally, patient navigation services and electronic medical records connected securely throughout all settings across the Intermountain Healthcare service area will further support improved outcomes and positive experiences for everyone who’s served by Intermountain and the caregivers who care for them.
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