Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults & Children with Tracheostomies and where we also provide tailor made solutions for hospitals and Intensive Care Units whilst providing quality services for long-term ventilated patients and medically complex patients at home.
In last week’s blog, I talked about,
You can check out last week’s blog by clicking on the link below this video:
In today’s blog post, I want to answer a question from one of our clients and the question today is
10 Benefits Of INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME Services- Live Stream!
Hello everyone! My name is Patrik Hutzel from Intensive Care at Home. I want to welcome you to this live stream today, and thank you for watching and thank you for joining me live on the stream today.
Today’s topic is about the 10 benefits for Intensive Care at Home Nursing Services. Before I dive into the 10 benefits, I want to quickly talk about what makes me qualified to talk about this topic today, just very quickly about myself. I’m the founder of Intensive Care at Home. I’m a critical care nurse by background. I have worked in intensive care in three different countries for over 20 years. Out of those 20 years in intensive care, or over 20 years, I have worked for over five years as a nurse unit manager in intensive care. Part of my intensive care nursing has also been that I set up Intensive Care at Home Nursing services here in Melbourne Australia, but we are also now interstate in Australia. We have gone to Sydney, country Victoria, and we’re also providing services to country Victoria now.
I was also part of setting up Intensive Care at Home in Germany over 20 years ago where I joined a group of intensive care nurses at the time in the late 1990s, early 2000s and where we were the first organization in Germany setting up Intensive Care at Home. So I do consider myself still after all these years. But I still consider myself as a pioneer in a pioneering industry really, but it’s worthwhile doing what we’re doing because we are helping so many clients and their families improving their quality of life. And we are also helping intensive care units, freeing up their in demand and precious intensive care beds. We’re freeing up intensive care resources, whether it’s equipment or staff. And we are also helping funding bodies to slash the cost of an ICU bed by around 50%. Therefore, it’s a win-win for everyone.
So now as we go along today I have just a couple of housekeeping issues, just type your questions into the chat pad and I will answer your questions of course, as we go along.
So let’s dive right into the 10 Benefits of Intensive Care Home Services. And let’s start with number one, which I believe is the most obvious one, which is quality of life at home instead of intensive care. I assume that if you are watching this video or you might be listening to the podcast or you might be reading the transcript, you would’ve come to us and sought out Intensive Care at Home because you are well aware that your loved one in intensive care has no quality of life whatsoever. Stuck in an intensive care bed space in an intensive care cubicle, whatever you want to call it. No natural daylight, very little natural daylight. There’s noise 24 hours a day. There’s people coming and going 24 hours a day.
It’s just not a very good and conducive environment for a recovery. And the quality of life at home well, you can’t beat home and picture intensive care as opposed to being in your own home. You have the nurses coming to your home. You’ve got everything at home that you need to be set up to make Intensive Care at Home possible and let the intensive care nursing team come to your home. So that is, I believe our biggest benefit of what we do. And I will break quality of life down a little bit more with more specifics as we go along so that you can really see how I can illustrate the quality of life aspect of our service.
Number two quality of end-of-life. Now, what do I mean by that? Some of our clients, may never come off a ventilator. They might have a life limiting illness and they may be approaching their end-of-life, sometimes over a few days, sometimes over a few weeks, sometimes over a few months, sometimes even over many years, depending on their situation. But I think it’s fair to say that we are providing also quality of end-of-life at home for our clients that have a life limiting illness. And again, if that is the case, where would you rather spend your last few days, weeks or months? At home or in an intensive care unit? I’ll leave the answer to you. I think it’s rather obvious what people would choose.
There have been many service done over the years in Western countries, where would people prefer to die if they had the choice and clearly over 75% of people surveyed said that they would prefer to approach their end-of-life at home compared to a hospital. I think there’s enough said here, and I don’t think to go any deeper than that. Again, we have provided end-of-life care at home as well for long-term. And sometimes short-term intensive care patients as well. For example, we have done one way exacerbations at home where families have opted to have the breathing tube removed at home and have their loved one pass away at home because it’s just such a nicer environment compared to an intensive care unit.
Number three, it’s a family environment, right? Intensive Care at Home creates a family environment. You can’t create a family environment in an intensive care unit, but you can create a family environment at home, even though your loved one may need life support, may need ventilation, may have a tracheostomy, may have other medical complexities that require your loved one to have intensive care nurses 24 hours a day. But in any case, you are surrounded by your family. You can keep your family together. It is just such a nicer environment for everyone. And that’s invaluable. You can’t weigh that up with any money or… it’s just the right thing to do. It’s your life, it’s your loved one’s life. And that needs to be embedded in your family. I always say we are providing a holistic care environment and that holistic care environment, as far as I’m concerned, can only be provided in a home care environment because that’s where patients and families want to be and should be.
Number four. Another benefit is that the team of highly skilled people is coming into your home. So, tying right in with what I mentioned a minute ago about, you are at home with your family, you can create your own environment. And now you’ve got the add-on of a highly skilled, highly experienced intensive care nursing team coming to your home and helping you improve the quality of life or quality of end-of-life for your loved one. And again, that is a holistic care environment having families, care teams come together in your own home. And that, don’t get me wrong, that is a very sensitive environment. I’m not saying it’s free of challenges. It’s not free of challenges. I can admit that, freely admit that it’s often the case of can we find the right nursing team for the right client in the right location? It takes a little bit of time to create the right team, especially on a 24-hour roster, so that you as a family feel comfortable with the people that are coming and going. Is it the right people for your family? Is it the right people for your loved one? But after all, the team is coming to your family home and you have all the skills that you need at your disposal really.
Number five, very important point now. I believe you can dictate your own routine. You can create the care around your routine. What works for you as a client? What works for you as a family? It’s not dictated by a hospital routine. If you want your teeth brushed at 9:00 in the morning and not at 4:30 in the morning, well, then it’ll be at 9:00 not at 4:30. What I’m saying is you are in control. We can work with the routine that works for you as a family. And I think that is really important to have that family centered approach to work with you and your routine, your preferences, what works for you.
And that often goes completely out of the window in intensive care, where everything is dictated by the intensive care schedule. The care is therefore not often individualized only to a certain degree. I’m not saying that you can’t individualize care in intensive care. However, it can never be as tailor-made as it can be at home, because that’s what it is. It is tailor-made care at home, tailor-made for you and for your loved one and for your family.
Next, talking about quality of life, I want to talk about what does that look like on a day to day basis? And I can give you some tangible examples here. For example, some of our clients go back to school. Some of our clients go back to work. Some of our clients pursue their hobbies if they can, they might even go to university and I’m not making this up. We have clients going to school. We have clients going back to university. We have clients work from home if they can work still. So that’s what I mean when I’m talking about quality of life, really, because you just can’t achieve that in a hospital environment. There’s also kind of a limiting belief in a hospital that patients or clients, that they’re not functional in an ICU environment. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Take them out of an intensive care environment. Give them the right ingredients to function, give them encouragement. Give them the right team with the right mindset around them. And you will see what can be achieved around activities they can do in and outside of the home. So very important aspect, what quality of life really can look like for the individual and that a lot more is possible than you think there is.
Next, you’ve got expertise at home that you will never find anywhere else in a home care environment or outside of a hospital. So think about this, you’ve got intensive care which is the highest acuity area in a hospital. When people leave intensive care they often go to a hospital ward. So you’ve got the highest acuity area in a hospital, intensive care with some of the most highly skilled staff in a hospital, intensive care nurses, intensive care doctors just to name a few. And that takes years of training to get to that level where you can call yourself an intensive care nurse, intensive care doctor, intensive care physiotherapist, and so forth.
So I argue, we are sending the highest skilled professionals into a home care environment. I argue there is nobody else almost in this world that sends higher skilled people into any home care environment. I argue, we are looking after the sickest clients in the community in Australia. There’s no other service provider that can match what we do at home because we’re employing hundreds of years of intensive care nursing experience that we’re sending into somebody’s home. And that puts us in a position where we can look, again I believe, after the sickest clients in the community in Australia. And for our audience in the US, we are not in the US yet, but we are coming there. We’re just not quite there yet. We have so many inquiries from America. I’m talking to people in America every day. It’s very similar to here that a lot of patients in ICU want to leave ICU and they want to take us up on the offer of Intensive Care at Home. So you never get more expertise at home when it comes to critical care than with our service Intensive Care at Home.
Also want to quickly talk about remote areas. And why do I want to talk about remote areas in particular? And why do I think it’s a benefit? So what we learned along the way is that a lot of our clients are actually in remote areas. And why is this? It’s simply because the further away clients are from metropolitan centers, metropolitan areas, the more help they really need. The more vulnerable they are, because if they go to ICU to a metropolitan area and they live remotely, it’s very disruptive. It takes up a lot of time for people to travel. Some of our clients have farms in country areas. They can’t just drop everything. So they’re very vulnerable on that end. And therefore sending intensive care nurses into remote areas is certainly challenging. I’m not saying it’s not, but at the same time, the benefit for clients in our remote areas, the payoffs are even higher because now finally, they can go back to where their families are. They don’t need to spend and live in intensive care. And therefore they can live their lives in a location that they have chosen to live in.
So remote areas are definitely one of our focuses because we know of the benefits of our service especially in remote areas. That also means in retrospect that if you are watching this or you are listening to this and you are living in a remote area that should not stop you from contacting us. We have set up quite a number of 24-hour rosters in remote areas and we can continue to do so if that is your preference, if that is what you would like. But if you are not in a remote area and you are in a metropolitan area, you should definitely contact us as well of course. I’m just highlighting that the clients in a remote area are even more vulnerable. And it often also takes clients in a remote area longer to go home because everything is so far away and everything that needs to be set up to provide Intensive Care at Home in a remote area, takes more time, takes more effort. And therefore those people generally speaking, stay in ICU for even longer compared to clients that live in a metropolitan area.
Next I want to talk about the benefits a bit more from a hospital perspective. I’ve talked about benefits from a family perspective. Now, I want to also quickly talk about the benefits from a hospital perspective. The biggest benefit of a hospital perspective is simply that ICU beds are in high demand, which means a long-term ICU patient is (for lack of a better term) blocking a bed. And that is a big issue for an intensive care unit. They have several other critically ill patients knocking at that bed, quite literally. They have people queuing up in the emergency room. They have potentially other hospitals looking for ICU beds, especially at the moment during the pandemic. And we are one option to help you with managing your intensive care beds.
Yesterday I had a comment from an intensivist that I spoke to about a long-term ventilated patient, and the intensivist actually said to me, “There is no option for this patient.” And my immediate response was there is no perceived option for a long-term ventilated patient. Well, Intensive Care at Home is that perceived option. It’s not only a perceived option, it’s a real option. So it really depends on your perspective. It depends on how open-minded you are. It depends on which other areas outside of intensive care you work in. But, there’s definitely options, real and perceived for long-term intensive care patients. We are that option.
Helene, thank you for coming onto the call today again. Just want to quickly read out your question, “When a client is at home on ventilator, are they on monitors?” Yes, that’s a great question, Helene. Yes, they are on monitors. Sometimes it’s just a finger clip for sats probes, sometimes they’re hooked up to real monitors. So it really depends on the client’s condition. Depends on the client’s preference. Depends on a number of things, but generally speaking. Absolutely, yes, they are on monitors. And you might have heard me say before, people are going out, we’re taking them to the movies, we’re taking them to school, we’re taking them here and there and everywhere if we can. And that means we wouldn’t hook them up to monitor permanently if we are out and about with them. But certainly if they’re at home, if they’re asleep, we have them on a monitor. But when we go out, we have portable monitors or little sats probes for their fingers. So there are many ways to check vital signs of our clients irrespective of the location.
Next, and that is actually number 10 when I went down my list. Bed blocks in intensive care. So yes, ICU beds are in high demand. They’re precious, they’re very expensive. And again, we are helping ICUs to manage their bed flow by simply creating more beds and creating more throughput and giving other critically ill patients a chance to have access to intensive care beds and have access to life saving treatment.
Last but not least. Before I also give you a bonus tip in the end, last but not least from a hospital, but also funding body perspective is simply cost. So that’s another benefit of Intensive Care at Home. So, an intensive care bed in hospital costs around $5,000 to $6,000 per bed day. That is $5,000 to $6,000 Australian, but it’s also $5,000 to $6,000 per bed day in the US. It’s fairly similar in terms of ICU bed costs around 3000 British pound in the UK. And Intensive Care at Home can provide services for approximately half of the cost. So we literally cutting the cost of an intensive care bed by 50%. But I think it’s gone way beyond cost. I do believe what we do is so important and it brings so many benefits to patients and their families that it’s not even about cost anymore. It’s about the benefit for patient’s families, but also for hospitals.
Talking about costs, I should also talk about accessing funding schemes, funding bodies and our clients here in Australia at the moment, they get funded through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) most of the time. But our clients also get funding through the TAC, the Transport Accident Commission. They get funding through the DVA, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and they get funding through hospitals at times. So we sometimes get direct funding through hospitals to take patients home and take them out of ICU. But the bottom line is this. I argue, we’re saving the healthcare community millions of dollars. We’re providing access to already crowded intensive care units. It’s a win-win all together for everyone that comes in contact with us.
But again, cost is not the only thing you need to look at in this situation. We were not focused too much on how much it costs, and we’re not too focused on that. We’re cutting the cost of an ICU bed by 50%. We’re focusing more and more about the benefit that our service really brings to our clients and their families.
My bonus tip, or my bonus benefit really is that if you have a loved one at home with Intensive Care at Home, and you have the ICU specialist skills coming home, there is also the whole connection with the wider intensive care teams whether that’s doctors, whether it’s physical therapist. There’s always a doctor overseeing our service, of course, and we’re liaising with them closer.
And Helene, of course, people thrive better at home. You can’t beat home. If you had seen the number of long-term intensive care that I’ve seen over the years that are simply depressed in intensive care, you know where it’s much less likely for people to be depressed either at home or in a hospital. The answer is so obvious and everything at home is just so much more conducive for clients and their families.
So that’s sort of in a nutshell of my 10 benefits for intensive care at home nursing services. There are at least another 10 others, but in the interest of time and in the interest of people wanting to ask questions, I kept it to 10 for now. And maybe we’ll do part two in a few weeks’ time, another 10 benefits of Intensive Care at Home. But I think for now you have gotten a very good overview of what the benefits are. And probably one last benefit that I should mention too, now that I’m thinking about it is, our service so far has not been out of cost for families. It’s always been funded by the funding bodies that I mentioned.
Another thing that I should mention now with the NDIS here in Australia is, we started to provide Specialist Support Coordination, which is important to know, because especially if you are looking to get NDIS funding for your loved one, you will need some level of Specialist Support Coordination, and we can provide that in-house. So you should contact us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or send me email to [email protected]. That is again, [email protected] where you can ask questions around those issues.
I think that’s it for today in a nutshell. Just another benefit for example that comes to mind is, you can have things like tracheostomy changes. Most of our clients we are doing tracheostomy changes at home. That’s another benefit. The list is definitely endless.
So I’ll give our audience a couple of more minutes to see whether they have any questions. If there are no questions I’ll wrap this up today maybe just a couple of minutes earlier. You’re welcome Helene. I might just wrap up a couple of minutes earlier today. If there are no other questions.
Well, if you found value in this video today, give it a thumbs up, like it, subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates for families in intensive care. And then you’d get more of my videos. Also, leave a comment below what questions and insights you have from this video. And I’m happy to respond there.
If you do have a loved one in intensive care, and you want Intensive Care at Home, go to intensivecareathome.com and contact us. Doesn’t where you are. We can still help you even if we’re not in your location. We can point you in the right direction. That’s for sure.
So thanks again for watching and I’ll be back again next Sunday at 11:00 AM Melbourne in Sydney time, which is Saturday night 6:00 PM. It’ll be around 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time next Saturday night.
Take care for now. Thanks again for coming onto the livestream and I’ll see you all next week. Take care.
Now, if you have a loved one in intensive care and you want to go home with our service Intensive Care At Home and if you want to find out how to get funding for our service and how it all works, please contact us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or send me an email to [email protected] That’s Patrik, just with a K at the end.
Please also have a look at our case studies because there we highlight more about what we can do for clients, how clients can live at home with ventilation and tracheostomies and you can look at our case studies as well at our service section.
And if you are at home already and you need support for your critically ill loved one at home, and you have insufficient support or insufficient funding, please contact us as well. We can help you with all of that.
And if you are an intensive care nurse or a pediatric intensive care nurse with a minimum of two years, ICU or pediatric ICU experience, and you ideally have a critical care certificate, please contact us as well. Check out our career section on our website. We are currently hiring ICU and pediatric ICU nurses for clients in the Melbourne metropolitan area, Northern suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Frankston area, South Gippsland, as well as Wollongong in New South Wales.
So we are also an NDIS, TAC (Victoria) and DVA (Department of Veteran affairs) approved community service provider in Australia. Also have a look at our range of full service provisions.
Also, we have been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program in the past for innovative healthcare companies.
Thank you for watching this video and thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik from Intensive Care At Home, and I’ll see you again next week in another update.