For many illnesses, a hospital stay is unavoidable — it’s the only place capable of providing the type of medical care you need to recover. However, most patients are eager to return home and regain the relief found in a hot bath or a good night’s sleep in their own bed.
Now, imagine getting the specialized care available only from a hospital, but in the comfort of your living room.
Holy Name is the first health care system in New Jersey to offer a Hospital at Home program, a government-approved approach to treatment that enables eligible patients to receive hospital services in their homes.
“This allows us to care for acute patients at home, where they are more comfortable, better able to rest and less susceptible to infections,” said Cedar Wang, the vice president of nursing operations at Holy Name.
With Hospital at Home, each patient receives two nurse visits every 24 hours. Patients’ communications and vital signs are instantly delivered to the hospital via a Wi-Fi enabled VitalCare health care tablet issued by Holy Name. Each person is assigned a personalized care team comprised of doctors, nurses, specialized therapists and others, who monitor recovery and, if needed, initiate an in-person or telemedicine visit with a physician or nurse practitioner. Patients are given the flexibility to control their care and may elect to return to the hospital at any time.
Renny Fearon, from Teaneck, is one of the patients receiving care through the Hospital at Home program. Fearon arrived at Holy Name with an enlarged prostate, an E. coli infection and sepsis. He was able to transfer to the new program and return home just three days after being admitted. His daughter, Karen Andrade, said they are thrilled with the program.
“This is one of the best things ever,” Andrade said. “He’s so much more comfortable at home, able to eat his own food and get more exercise than if he were in the hospital. There’s nothing like being in your own home.”
Patients can qualify for the Medicare-approved program with a broad range of conditions such as COPD, skin infections, pneumonia, mild congestive heart failure, COVID-19 or medical issues requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Specific criteria must be met for eligibility — patients must live with a person who can participate in their care, have internet access and reside within 8 miles of the hospital in case an emergency develops.
Andrade said her dad experienced a minor emergency — and a nurse was at their house in less than 15 minutes.
“She came right away,” Andrade said. “He received the same type of care as if he had been in the hospital, but he didn’t have to leave our house. The nurses in the program are the best.”
Wang, the vice president from Holy Name, said the program’s staff dedicated months of preparation for just such emergencies.
“We established the program in January and waited until June to admit our first patient,” Wang said. “We worked for six months to develop a comprehensive plan capable of providing patients every aspect of the care they deserve.”
In addition to the tablet constantly monitoring vital signs, it has a call button, similar to what is found at the patient’s bed. This provides two-way, constant communication, Wang said.
“It’s no different than using a call bell at the hospital,” she said. “In some cases, it may actually be faster.
“Hospital at Home gives Holy Name the unique ability to care for patients in the way that’s best for them — in the best setting using the best resources,” Wang said.
“We are excited to be able to provide a better experience for patients while maintaining the exceptional standard of care Holy Name is known for.”
For more information on Hospital at Home at Holy Name, call 201-833-3560.
Holy Name is currently recruiting highly experienced nurses for the Hospital at Home program. For more information, visit https://holyname.org/Careers/.