Virtua launches 'hospital at home' program

Participating patients monitored remotely around the clock, with at-home visits twice a day

VOORHEES, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Virtua Health in Voorhees has launched its "hospital at home" program. Hospital officials said it's the first of its kind in the region and could revolutionize patient care.

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The hospital has a monitoring center with nurses and clinicians checking vitals around the clock, and there will be twice-daily at-home visits.

"We're really excited," said vice president Dr. John Matsinger.

"We really see the ability to kind of take a major step forward with hospital at home. It allows us to get people in their house, and we know this: people want to be at home. They really want to be at home, so if we can get the right level of care in the home, I think it's a win-win."

The most severe conditions will still require a hospital stay, but it is an option for people who need monitoring and also have a support system at home.

"We also have the ability to give remote care really instantaneously," said Matsinger, who added it's beneficial for patients and families, as COVID-19 has forced changes to visitation rules.

"We're really being stringent on visiting hours. This kind of takes that out of the equation," he said.

"Now that being said, if someone has COVID, you still gotta be wearing masks and things like that and do the appropriate things to protect the family also."

If a patient's condition does take a turn, Matsinger said they can send an ambulance and bring them back to the hospital quickly.

High speed internet at home is required, and Virtua won't send a patient home without family members there who can assist.

Matsinger said in some cases, the hospital can provide help. They can do x-rays, lab work, and even provide easy to reheat meals for patients who need them. The goal for the program is to have between 60 and 80 at-home patients.