If you dread admission to the hospital due to routine illness, accidents, or after certain medical procedures, we have good news for you: In-home care might be poised to replace hospital care in many cases.
A recent study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine found some surprising outcomes when comparing in-home care to the traditional hospital model:
- Health care costs for home-based patients were 38 percent lower than costs for hospital patients
- Home-based patients were more physically active
- Home-based patients were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital
While in-home care might be less common in the United States, it is already a common model of care in many countries including Australia, Spain, France, and Italy. Patients have access to a wide range of services in the home, including respiratory therapies, intravenous medications, and in-home radiology and monitoring equipment. Doctors and nurses are able to perform routine visits for those who don’t require round-the-clock monitoring.
Patients often prefer in-home care as well. Many report that they sleep better, spend less time lying down, are able to move around more comfortably, and appreciate being able to eat their own food. And while it is difficult to measure the psychological benefits of remaining in more familiar surroundings, that is likely to be a positive factor as well.
Finally, in-home care might reduce the chances of acquiring a secondary infection, a problem which often plagues hospital patients.
If in-home care interests you, broach the subject with your healthcare provider. He or she can advise you on when in-home care is appropriate, and keep you updated on whether this option is coming to your area soon.