Last updated on March 2017

Hospitalization at Home: The Acute Care Home Hospital Program for Adults


Brief description of study

The investigators propose a home hospital model of care that substitutes for treatment in an acute care hospital. Limited studies of the home hospital model have demonstrated that a sizeable proportion of acute care can be delivered in the home with equal quality and safety, reduced cost, and improved patient experience.

Detailed Study Description

Hospitals are the standard of care for acute illness in the United States, but hospital care is expensive and often unsafe, especially for older individuals. While admitted, 20% suffer delirium, over 5% contract hospital-acquired infections, and most lose functional status that is never regained. Timely access to inpatient care is poor: many hospital wards are typically over 100% capacity, and emergency department waits can be protracted. Moreover, hospital care is increasingly costly: many internal medicine admissions have a negative margin (i.e., expenditures exceed hospital revenues) and incur patient debt. The investigators propose a home hospital model of care that substitutes for treatment in an acute care hospital. Studies of the home hospital model have demonstrated that a sizeable proportion of acute care can be delivered in the home with equal quality and safety, 20% reduced cost, and 20% improved patient experience. While this is the standard of care in several developed countries, only 2 non-randomized demonstration projects have been conducted in the United States, each with highly local needs. Taken together, home hospital evidence is promising but falls short due to non-robust experimental design, failure to implement modern medical technology, and poor enlistment of community support. The home hospital module offers most of the same medical components that are standard of care in an acute care hospital. The typical staff (medical doctor [MD], registered nurse [RN], case manager), diagnostics (blood tests, vital signs, telemetry, x-ray, and ultrasound), intravenous therapy, and oxygen/nebulizer therapy will all be available for home hospital. Optional deployment of food services, home health aide, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and social worker will be tailored to patient need. Home hospital improves upon the components of a typical ward's standard of care in several ways: - Point of care blood diagnostics (results at the bedside in <5 minutes); - Minimally invasive continuous vital signs, telemetry, activity tracking, and sleep tracking; - On-demand 24/7 clinician video visits; - 4 to 1 patient to MD ratio, compared to typical 16 to 1; - Ambulatory/portable infusion pumps that can be worn on the hip; - Optional access to a personal home health aide Should a matter be emergent (that is, requiring in-person assistance in less than 20 minutes), then 9-1-1 will be called and the patient will be returned to the hospital immediately. In previous iterations of home hospital this happens in about 2% of patients. Clinical parameters measured will be at the discretion of the physician and nurse, who treat the participant following evidence-based practice guidelines, just as in the usual care setting. In addition, the investigators will be tracking a wide variety of measures of quality and safety, including some measures tailored to each primary diagnosis.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02864420

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David M Levine, MD MA

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, MA United States
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David M Levine, MD MA

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital
Boston, MA United States
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