Island Health is seeking input on its new hospital at home program, launched at Victoria General Hospital (VGH) earlier this year.
The pilot project, modelled after a similar setup in Australia, gives eligible patients the option to be cared for from the comfort of their own home through virtual and in-person visits. Individuals are still registered hospital patients, but receive all therapies and tests, such as vital signs monitoring, supplemental oxygen, IV medications and lab work, from home.
Participation in the program is voluntary, but anyone who takes part is encouraged to share their experience in Island Health’s survey. It is open to patients, family caregivers, health-care providers and administrators. Survey feedback will inform refinement of the program at VGH and as it rolls out provincewide.
Currently, there are nine “virtual” patient beds in Victoria. To be eligible, patients must be 19 or older, live within a 16-minute drive of VGH, have a caregiver living at home, have a safe home environment and have a phone and refrigerator.
Similar programs launched in Australia and Europe have reported such benefits as a more patient-centred approach to hospital care, lower rates of hospital-based complications and reduced pressures on hospital beds and emergency departments.
The survey is available until Dec. 31 at islandhealth.ca.
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