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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024HLTH0045-000554
April 12, 2024
Ministry of Health
Vancouver Coastal Health
Providence Health Care
Hospital-level care at home launches in Lower Mainland
Updated on April 12, 2024

VANCOUVER – Patients are benefiting from convenient, safe and timely acute-level care from the comfort of their own home as the Hospital at Home (HaH) program launches in several hospitals in Vancouver.

HaH is an internationally recognized model that is both safe and effective, and is designed to improve patient comfort, privacy and independence. The teams include doctors, registered nurses, pharmacists, occupational and physiotherapists, and speech-language pathologists, among others. Other specialists may be provided as needed so care is tailored to a patient’s individual needs.

“Giving patients the option to receive safe and individualized care in their own homes not only helps with the recovery of the patient, but it also benefits the health-care system,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Piloted in the Island Health’s hospitals, the Hospital at Home program has had remarkably successful results. As our government is committed to strengthening people’s access to high-quality health services, the launch of this program in the Lower Mainland will help improve care at Vancouver hospitals.” 

Eligible patients at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital (UBCH), St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJH) can choose to receive acute care in their own home rather than the hospital, if deemed safe and appropriate.

The program is open to qualifying patients at VGH, UBCH, SPH and MSJH who have a diagnosis, such as (but not limited to) sepsis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or dehydration.

“The biggest benefit of Hospital at Home we hear from our patients is that they get to recover in their own home,” said Dr. Iain McCormick, Hospital at Home medical lead, VGH. “Patients have a lot of support wrapped around them, including daily in-person visits and a mix of virtual and monitoring technologies.”

Since March 2024, the Hospital at Home program has supported as many as 18 patients at a time in Vancouver. Qualifying patients must be medically and geographically appropriate for the program and participation is voluntary. While in the HaH program, patients have a virtual call bell and phone number to connect with their care team 24/7. If patients no longer want to participate in the program or their condition changes, the health authority will co-ordinate their transfer back to the hospital.

The multidisciplinary teams of health-care professionals make daily visits to patients at their own homes. Patients receive one visit a day from the HaH nurses, who are also available to patients 24/7 for consultation and check-ins. Other members of the HaH team are also available to provide virtual visits.

Care teams provide services, including medication management, blood draws, IV therapy and supplemental oxygen. Transfers to hospital can be arranged for services provided only in hospital.

“Patients need to meet certain criteria, including living within the boundaries of the city of Vancouver,” said Dr. Jonathan Dick, Hospital at Home medical lead, Providence Health Care. “This ensures patients can get back to the hospital setting quickly if needed and care providers spend minimal time on the road.”

Through a partnership with Evo Car Share, all registered hospital staff have access to a vehicle to visit patients each day, with in-person and virtual visits from doctors and other health-care providers as required.

Quick Facts:

  • Data from B.C.’s first HaH program in Island Health, which launched in 2020, shows that with its 18 Hospital at Home beds, Island Health has been able to provide more than 17,500 added days of treatment since its launch.
  • An evaluation after the first year of Island Health HaH service found:
    • ninety-nine per cent of patients would recommend HaH to family and friends;
    • ninety-eight per cent of caregivers would recommend HaH and felt confident as a caregiver; and
    • all the staff would recommend HaH to friends and family.
  • Demonstrated outcomes of HaH include, but are not limited to:
    • improved patient comfort, privacy and independence;
    • improved caregiver satisfaction and involvement; and
    • decreased risk of hospital-acquired delirium, infections and mortality.

Learn More:

To learn more about Hospital at Home, visit:

A backgrounder follows.

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887
 
Jessica Holmes
Vancouver Coastal Health
Jessica.Holmes@vch.ca or media@vch.ca
604 897-6386 or 604 202-2012 (after hours)
 
Ann Gibbon
Providence Health Care
agibbon@providencehealth.bc.ca
778 999-0064
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2024HLTH0045-000554
April 12, 2024
Ministry of Health
Vancouver Coastal Health
Providence Health Care
What people are saying about Hospital at Home

Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

“The Hospital at Home program will enhance the delivery of acute care for people in our communities, allowing patients to receive high-quality care in the comfort of their homes. This program offers patients the option to be cared for in a familiar, private home environment, while also creating extra capacity in hospital settings, benefitting the broader community. I am excited about this next great step our government is taking to improve access to health care for people in the Vancouver area.”

Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End –

“Patients and their families have long advocated for more options to receive health care in their own homes, making it easier and more comfortable for them. This new program is going to address that need and help more people get the 24/7 acute care they need from a whole team of dedicated professionals, while enjoying the comfort and privacy of their homes near their loved ones. I’m very glad to see this program moving ahead and look forward to seeing it expand in the coming months to serve more patients.”

George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview –

“We want people to feel confident that when they need a hospital bed, one will be there for them. The new Hospital at Home program in the Vancouver region is going to help expand in-hospital capacity and help others get the high-quality, around-the-clock care they need in the comfort of their homes. This is another action we’re taking to help more people access health care and I look forward to continuing to work with local health authorities to ensure that people in Vancouver have the health care they can count on.”

Mable Elmore, MLA for Vancouver-Kensington –

“The new Hospital at Home program is a crucial addition to our health-care system. Many people do not seek the medical care they need as hospital settings make them feel unsafe and vulnerable. This program will break down those barriers and allow people to receive the care they need, safely and effectively from the comfort of their homes.”

George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview –

“Today, our government has taken another positive step to strengthen our health-care system for British Columbians and ensure people can get the care they need, without borders. Hospital at Home programs are an effective and innovative alternative for those who require acute-level care. This program will not only benefit patients, keeping them in their comfortable and familiar homes, it will also help alleviate the strain health-care workers are facing.”

Joan Phillip, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –

“With the Hospital at Home program, we are optimizing our health-care system to better meet the needs of our community. It enhances health-care accessibility and quality for people in Vancouver by bringing essential services directly to patients’ doorsteps. This approach ensures that patients receive the care they need in familiar surroundings, promoting faster recovery and easing the burden on families.”

Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings –

“The Hospital at Home program marks a significant step towards patient-centred care, making health care more accessible and convenient for all. By bringing hospital-level care directly into homes, we are not just providing medical treatment, we are ensuring that individuals receive the utmost care and attention by our dedicated professionals, while surrounded by their loved ones.”

Ricardo Garcia, patient at Vancouver General Hospital –

“When the nurse first approached me about Hospital at Home, I thought it sounded great and I went for it right away without question. I wanted to be in my own bed. The care was great and I liked being in the comfort of my own home. I could eat my own food and chill on my own couch.”

Rick Paradis, patient at St. Paul’s Hospital –

“It was amazing to come home on this program. I slept so well. My appetite improved and my whole mental attitude changed. It was great that Hospital at Home was just a call away if I needed help.”

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887
 
Jessica Holmes
Vancouver Coastal Health
Jessica.Holmes@vch.ca or media@vch.ca
604 897-6386 or 604 202-2012 (after hours)
 
Ann Gibbon
Providence Health Care
agibbon@providencehealth.bc.ca
778 999-0064
 

 
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