Bringing the Hospital to Patients at Home

The Hospital at Home project is putting a new twist on the old adage that home is best. Research shows that at home – and in their community – is the best place for many patients to receive care. Hospital at Home is an innovative new model that provides acute care to patients in the comfort of their own home. While similar programs have been implemented successfully in other countries, it’s a new approach to delivering care in Canada; a prototype is currently underway at Victoria General Hospital.

Led by pharmacist and researcher Dr. Sean Spina, a team will study whether the program prototype is safe and convenient for patients and clinicians, and whether outcomes are as good as or better than patients who receive care in-hospital. A team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare providers will visit patients in their home. Patients at home will have access to the same care and services as in hospital–for example, medications, lab tests, and mobility–and will be monitored the whole time using a suite of mobile technologies. As in the hospital, patients can connect with their care team at any time, day or night. As Hospital at Home puts patients first, patient engagement is an important part of the innovative model. Dr. Spina shares “Patient partners Lisa Thompson and Beth Bourke have been involved with Hospital at Home since its development. Perspective from patients is vital and has shaped how we deliver care.”

As Hospital at Home puts patients first, patient engagement is an important part of the innovative model.

Evaluating the Hospital at Home model is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If effective, Hospital at Home can keep beds free in case of admission surges, and help to maintain other care and services like surgery. “The Hospital at Home model of care is integral to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 restart plan,” Dr. Spina says. “Our evaluation will inform implementation across the province, ensuring that we’re ready to respond to any future waves of COVID-19. We are excited to contribute to the future of healthcare delivery in BC with the ongoing support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.”