4 challenges 'hospital at home' initiatives face

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The pandemic accelerated "hospital at home" programs, which use remote monitoring and telehealth technologies to provide patients with hospital-level care in their homes. However, uncertainties about the care model's future remain, according to a May 24 Kaiser Health News report.

Proponents of the care model are aiming to move 10 percent of hospital patients to home care settings. Below are four challenges threatening that goal:

  1. Health systems that have recently spent millions on new in-patient facilities will delay hospital at home initiatives, as they need patients to fill beds so they can recoup their investments.

  2. Scaling up existing hospital at home programs means two difficult feats: maintaining safety amid rapid growth and recruiting enough medical staff (particularly nurses, paramedics and technicians) willing to travel to patients' homes.

  3. Patients without reliable Internet access may not be able to participate, as they may not be able to effectively communicate with their care team.

  4. Patients who live alone may not qualify for hospital at home programs because they won't have enough assistance, and patients who live in crowded households may not have enough room or privacy to qualify.
 

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