“Has the time come for ‘hospital at Home’?” – next avenue

“How patients with certain conditions get care in the comfort of their home.”

hospital at home

by Ken Terry

“Herbert Prahl, a 73-year-old retired Lutheran pastor, was recently admitted to the Mayo Clinic hospital in Eau Claire, Wisc., for an infection of his vertebral spine. He underwent surgery so his doctors could take bone samples and determine what kind of bacteria were causing the infection. Afterwards, he was placed on powerful IV antibiotics.

“Once Prahl was stabilized, he normally would have been transferred to a rehabilitation facility to continue receiving the antibiotics. But his doctors were making this decision on a Thursday, and there was no possibility of Prahl being placed in one over the weekend. So he was facing four additional nights in the hospital, followed by a transfer to an institution that was 40 miles from his home.

“Then Prahl’s nurses told him about an alternative: The Mayo Clinic was conducting a pilot of a new acute-care model, in which he could receive hospital-level treatment at home. Was he interested in going home to his wife right away? He was.”

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