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Harvard’s Mass General Hospital Is Rolling Out A Massive Hospital-At-Home Program

Harvard’s Mass General Hospital Is Rolling Out A Massive Hospital-At-Home Program

Mass General Brigham (MGB) hospital system is one of the most famous organizations in the world, known for its cutting edge clinical care, research, and innovation. In its latest venture to reduce spend while improving patient outcomes, the renowned hospital has announced a new venture: a robust hospital-at-home program.

The idea will be to support patients in the convenience of their own homes. Gregg Meyer, President of Community Division and Executive Vice President of Value-Based Care for MGB explains: “…We’ve got more data to say that this is convenient and enjoyed by patients at lower costs, but by the way, it is safe. And then at the same time, the technology is getting easier and easier…”

The concept is certainly not new. For centuries, healthcare was routinely practiced in patient homes, with doctors making house-calls and home-visits. Only more complicated events or unconventional cases needed a hospital visit. Barring special situations or extraneous circumstances, preventative care was largely taken care of inside the home. In fact, many countries still practice this. Take for example India, which boasts one of the world’s largest home-healthcare networks globally. The country has a robust infrastructure already in place to support home-visits, including outpatient diagnostics centers, virtual health monitoring, and even appropriate follow-up cadence.

In America, home-healthcare is not as common. Often, healthcare is seen as centered around the hospital or clinic, which means that patients also have to put up with hefty facility fees and pay for some of the overhead costs related to their visit. Thankfully, virtual care has eased the transition to hospital-at-home programs. I wrote earlier this year about how the emergence of robust telehealth companies and technology has made remote monitoring, patient-care visits, and remote provision of care significantly easier. Furthermore, it has also increased access to care, as many are now able to meet with a physician at home using just their internet connection.

Aside from perhaps alleviating cost pressures, this concept also serves to be an extremely convenient solution for patients. The Covid-19 pandemic established just how uncomfortable people were with going to a physical hospital. Whether due to fear of contracting the virus or purely out of convenience, it was evident that many people preferred to stay at home. Now, with these new modalities of virtual care and an increasing emphasis on hospital-at-home care, this may soon become a new reality.

If MGB is able to employ this model and achieve high levels of success with regards to patient safety, efficacy, cost efficiency, and ultimately better healthcare outcomes, undoubtedly, this model will certainly be replicated by many organizations in the years to come.

What do you think?

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