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Virtua Health Launches ‘Hospital at Home’ Program

South Jersey health system is first in the Greater Philadelphia region to bring hospital-level care into select patients’ homes

Marlton-based Virtua Health announced the start of its Hospital at Home program – an innovative initiative that will allow eligible patients who meet certain criteria to heal from the comfort of their home rather than a hospital room. One patient recovering from COVID-19 enrolled in the program today, which includes twice-daily visits from Virtua staff, remote monitoring, and video calls with clinicians, among other services.

The Hospital at Home 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 John Matsinger, DO, MBA, 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,” Dr. Matsinger said. “You can think of it as our sixth hospital; one that is dedicated to remote, virtual care.”

How Hospital at Home Works

Initially, 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.

While each person’s plan-of-care will be specific to that individual, every participant will experience hospital-level care from home, including:

  • Twice-daily visits from Hospital at Home staff
  • Remote monitoring using a variety of Virtua-issued devices
  • Routine remote consultations with a physician or other licensed provider
  • Around-the-clock support from the Hospital at Home Command Center
  • Easy-to-heat nutritious meals, if requested
  • Relevant clinical and ancillary services that would otherwise be provided in the hospital, such as imaging, pharmacy, lab, and therapy

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

“For several years, Virtua has challenged itself to orient to the consumer and transform its delivery models,” said Michael W. Capriotti, MBA, senior vice president of integration and strategic operations for Virtua Health. “With Hospital at Home, soon we will no longer require certain patient populations to come to the hospital. Instead, we will bring the hospital to them.”

“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 President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE. “At Virtua Health, we embrace innovation and reinvention while amplifying our capacity to be Here for Good.”

To learn more about Hospital at Home, visit virtua.org/services/hospital-at-home. For more information on Virtua’s response to COVID-19, including scheduling appointments for COVID testing or vaccination, visit virtua.org/services/covid19-updates.

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