Virtua Health brings hospital-level care into select patients’ homes with ‘Hospital at Home’ program

South Jersey-based Virtua Health launched its Hospital at Home program — a new initiative that will allow eligible patients who meet certain criteria to heal from the comfort of their home rather than a hospital room.

The new model offers advantages to both patients and providers and is widely viewed by the industry as a key component of health care’s ongoing evolution.

Studies show that benefits of this care model compared to traditional inpatient care include:

  • A shorter average length of hospital stay;
  • Higher patient and family satisfaction;
  • Decreased likelihood of hospital readmission.

The model also allows caregivers or family members to directly support participating patients, which is not always possible due to hospital visitor restrictions in response to COVID-19.

The preservation of available hospital beds and resources is a key benefit for both hospitals and the community — particularly now, as many hospitals nationwide experience record-setting patient volume.

“We have spent several months developing our Hospital at Home program. Our plan was to launch the service in late February, but we accelerated the timeline to address the current surge of COVID patients,” said Dr. John Matsinger, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Virtua Health, which operates five hospitals across southern New Jersey.

“In time, this program will be a cornerstone of our care portfolio,” Matsinger said. “You can think of it as our sixth hospital; one that is dedicated to remote, virtual care.”

One patient recovering from COVID-19 enrolled in the program this week, which includes twice-daily visits from Virtua staff, remote monitoring and video calls with clinicians, among other services.

In its beginning stages, Virtua will offer Hospital at Home to select patients at Virtua Voorhees Hospital whose COVID-19 treatment can safely transition from the inpatient unit to the person’s home. In the coming weeks, the program will expand to include other Virtua hospitals and extend to health conditions beyond COVID-19.

Not all patients are candidates for Hospital at Home, and participation is optional.

“The launch of Virtua Hospital at Home, when coupled with the multiyear partnership with Medtronic and our newly established academic affiliation with Rowan University, collectively speak to Virtua’s strategy to anticipate and prepare for the community’s care needs in the years ahead,” added Virtua Health CEO and President Dennis Pullin. “At Virtua Health, we embrace innovation and reinvention while amplifying our capacity to be ‘Here for Good.’”