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Hospital at Home acute care program comes to Vancouver

Hospital at Home acute care program comes to Vancouver


A program that offers some patients acute care in their own home is already in operation at four Vancouver hospitals: Vancouver General, St. Paul's, Mount St. Joseph and the University of BC hospital.

Hospital At Home began rolling out in January of this year to other parts of BC, including Vancouver Island and the North.

project, launched at Vancouver Coastal Healthregion on Friday, aims to connect patients with a team of doctors, nurses and pharmacies through a virtual ringer and phone number.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the program serves a dual purpose.

“Allowing patients to receive safe, individualized care in their own homes not only helps the patient recover, but also benefits the health care system,” Dix said.

A bespectacled man speaks in front of lab coats in the background.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says the Hospital at Home program helps both patients and the healthcare system. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Patients must meet certain criteria to qualify, such as living within the City of Vancouver.

The program is open to patients with certain diagnoses, including sepsis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and dehydration.

Daily visits to the patient's home are made by a multidisciplinary team and health professionals are also available virtually.

Former Hospital at Home participant Ricardo Garcia was one of the first to use the program and spoke positively about it at a media event.

“Two nurses set me up at home with all the Ineeded equipment, including a tablet, a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, plus a virtual call bell to contact them if I ever needed it,” he said.

“I was so happy to be qualified. I wanted to be in my bed, eat my food and relax on the sofa. And I recovered.”

In a statement, the Hospital Employees Union said it supports the program. HEU represents 60,000 health care workers in the province.

“It's exciting to see this kind of innovation in our publicly operated health care system, which is in stark contrast to what's happening in other provinces in Canada,” said Lynn Bueckert, the union's interim secretary and manager of business.

Hospital at Home is already up and running in two other regions: Northern Health and Island Health.

Patients in the program will be transferred back to the hospital if their condition changes or if they choose not to participate.




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