In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, doctors and other healers routinely made house calls to deliver medical care. But as technology and medicine evolved, care moved out of the home and into the office and hospital. We reflected on this evolution and asked ourselves: how can we get back to a care model that’s convenient, accessible, and valuable for patients? At Atrius Health, new systems are taking shape that ask patients to sacrifice less – less time and effort traveling to their doctors, less waiting to get sick, less money – and give them more – more opportunities to stay well, prevent issues from escalating, and heal with comfort and dignity.
Primary care at home
Elderly patients often struggle with this tension: they have complex medical issues but can’t easily get to the doctor. The result? Seniors who are forced to delay essential care and who wind up in the emergency room (ER) when their issues escalate – and a systemic problem of avoidable ER visits and hospital admissions. The Intensive Home-Based Primary Care (IHB) program knocks down the barriers to getting timely care. IHB offers home visits by nurse practitioners or physicians for short-term intensive care, long-term primary care, or a one-time visit. Patients can get physical exams, assessments of cognitive function, medication reconciliation, and help with advance care planning – all from their living room.
Urgent care at home
When you’re elderly and not very mobile, you have few options when an urgent medical issue crops up: call an ambulance or delay care. The Care in Place program offers an attractive alternative: stay put and get the care you need at home. Within two hours of a patient’s call, a visiting nurse arrives at the patient’s home, where they assess the patient and have a phone consult with a provider who directs the patient’s care, orders necessary tests and medicines, and identifies the right follow-up care. The result: patients have their problems addressed quickly and conveniently, and avoid unnecessary and costly ambulance, ER, and hospital visits.
Hospital care at home
Nobody wants to go to the hospital, even when you need to. So, what if the hospital came to you? That’s the central question behind Medically Home, a typically 30-day program that safely shifts acute care from hospitals to patients’ homes and builds in time for healing and improved self-care. The clinicians at Medically Home provide in-person care to patients, monitor them remotely, and are available to them and their families 24/7. The result is hospital-level care with the convenience, comfort, and normalcy of remaining at home – a game-changer for patients and their caregivers who are often in and out of the hospital.
Outpatient IV therapy
Imagine Mr. B, an 88 year-old frail man with congestive heart failure who requires frequent hospitalizations for IV Lasix therapy, usually provided in a crowded ER. As part of our efforts to provide high-quality, patient-centered, cost-effective care, Atrius Health has designed an outpatient IV Lasix therapy program to meet the needs of patients like Mr. B – without the discomfort and cost of an ER visit or hospitalization.