Intermountain Healthcare is expanding its home-based services to include primary care, some traditional hospital-level services, and palliative care for patients with chronic or serious medical conditions.
The new service, called Intermountain at Home, will expand established Intermountain Homecare & Hospice services to prevent or shorten hospital admissions, and enable patients to receive care where they prefer to receive it — in their homes.
"Intermountain at Home will help us care for patients with the same high levels of attention, safety, quality, and coordination we deliver in our traditional settings — all at a much lower cost," Rajesh Shrestha, Intermountain COO of community-based care, said in a statement. "This will be one of the nation's most comprehensive models for providing care upstream and meeting patient preferences."
Home-based nursing services were introduced at Intermountain in 1982 to transition patients safely home after hospital discharges. Since then, Intermountain Homecare & Hospice has continued to grow and now supports patients with home-based post-hospital, palliative, and end-of-life care as well as medical equipment maintenance.
Intermountain at Home will incorporate these services, and add other functions — including ongoing home check-ups with a primary care physician or advanced practice clinician. These providers can address their patients' medical needs and symptoms of chronic or serious medical conditions, without requiring patients to travel to a hospital or clinic.
Tech-wise, Intermountain at Home will incorporate remote monitoring; expanded telemedicine capabilities; virtual urgent care visits through the Intermountain Connect Care online service; and appointment-based video visits. Also included in the offering are home caregiver and family support tools; dialysis and intravenous medication; and physical therapy; as well as daily living support through Homespire, an Intermountain company that helps seniors and other people live healthy and independent lives at home.
In addition, patient navigation services and electronic medical records connected securely throughout all settings across the Intermountain Healthcare service area will further support improved outcomes and positive experiences for everyone who's served by Intermountain and the caregivers who care for them.
"Providing these types of services in the home versus a traditional hospital setting has been proven to be effective in reducing complications, rehospitalizations, and trips to emergency departments while cutting the overall cost of care by 30 percent or more," added Rebekah Couper-Noles, RN, Intermountain Healthcare's chief nursing officer of community-based care. "This could result in benefits to our patients and our community including better quality of life, better access to healthcare, and lower healthcare costs."