At-Home Healthcare Experiment Aims to Reduce Medical Errors
In spite of the fact that hospitals are designed to be dedicated medical care facilities, many patients fare better when they’re able to avoid lengthy hospital stays. Sometimes, patients grow despondent in hospitals when they’re forced to be away from their home and loved ones. In other cases, they can contract dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA.
Hospitals are an essential component of our healthcare system, but they’re not a one size fits all solution for patient care. In light of a recent study that found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, many healthcare providers are looking for safe alternatives to long-term hospital care.
One of these alternatives involves bringing hospital-grade care to patients’ homes. In New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital has launched a pilot program designed to do just that. It’s called the Mobile Acute Care Team (MACT) Services, and it could have a big influence on the way hospitals provide care for their patients in the future.
According to the program’s mission statement, “The core MACT will provide essential ancillary services such as community-based radiology, lab services (including point of care testing), nursing services, durable medical equipment, pharmacy and infusion services, telemedicine, and interdisciplinary post-acute care services for 30 days after admission. After 30 days, the team will ensure a safe transition back to community providers and provide referrals to appropriate services.”
Previous studies have demonstrated that these “hospital at home” programs can reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. The greatest challenges these programs face are the many logistical considerations that come with providing hospital-grade care at home. As one member of the MACT team explained in an interview with Marketplace, “it’s easier to order Chinese at midnight in Manhattan than to find a tank of oxygen after hours.”
If hospital at home programs like MACT are able to overcome these challenges, however, they have the potential to make hospital care far safer and less stressful for patients.