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 otherwise medically complex Patients by improving their Quality of life and where we also provide tailor made solutions to hospitals and Intensive Care Units to save money and resources, whilst providing Quality Care!
In the last blog I shared
You can check out last week’s episode by clicking on the link here.
In this week’s blog I want to answer another frequently asked question that we get from our clients and also from hospitals and Intensive Care Units/ICU’s.
When is the right time to leave INTENSIVE CARE (ICU) and use INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME?
This is a great question and thank you to all of you who have been asking!
First off, a long-held belief and outdated paradigm by Intensive Care doctors and Intensive Care nurses, as well as Patients and families has been that there are only two ways to leave Intensive Care/ICU.
- Patients recover and go to a hospital ward
- Patients don’t recover and die
Thankfully, a new concept proven third option has been created
- INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME
Therefore, the paradigm has been changed and long-term Intensive Care Patients can be safely looked after at home and leave ICU.
Given that there are many grey areas in Intensive Care and given that there is often a fine line between keeping Patients alive on life support or letting them die by withholding or withdrawing life support such as mechanical ventilation with tracheostomy, many more Patients in Intensive Care do survive, if the right resources are being used to do so.
Increased life expectancy as well as Intensive Care units/ICU’s getting better at saving lives, increases the massive pressure on Intensive Care/ICU beds and also increases the pressure on Intensive Care doctors and Intensive Care nurses.
This often leaves medically stable but still medically complex Patients in Intensive Care for longer than anticipated and for longer than hospital budgets allow.
By medically stable, I mean that Patients need to be off inotropes/vasopressors and they need to be hemodynamically stable.
Therefore, many medically stable on mechanical ventilation with tracheostomy can leave Intensive Care/ICU and go home with INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME services.
Bringing ICU nurses into the home with our INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME service is the real innovation for Patients, their families and for Intensive Care Units/ICU’s.
This is a much more Patient and family friendly option compared to a long-term stay in ICU or in LTAC (mainly in the USA).
Going home with INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME has numerous advantages such as
- Improve the quality of life/quality of end of life for Patients and their families
- Cut the cost of an “in-demand” Intensive Care bed by more than 50%
- Provide a Patient and family friendly experience
- Free up the “in-demand” Intensive Care bed that can be used for other critically ill Patients
- Bringing families back together in a holistic home care environment rather than spending day and night in Intensive Care/ICU
- By getting Patients out of Intensive Care/ICU and by taking them home with INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME we help avoiding family breakups and we help maintain financial stability for families due to their ability to go back to work
- Weaning off ventilation with tracheostomy is so much easier and Patient friendly in a home care environment
- INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME minimises infection risk, due to no exposure to sometimes deadly hospital bugs in ICU
- With technology such as apps being readily available, shorter communication channels are making it effortless to communicate, monitor and manage a long-term Intensive Care Patient at home with ICU nurses. Those ICU nurses can communicate with other senior nurses and doctors in real time to manage a medically complex and life support dependent Patient at home
The list of advantages is incomplete, however you get the gist!
In order to ease the pressure to both hospitals/ICU’s, Patients and their families, a new and innovative approach is required.
Therefore, one answer to Intensive Care bed shortages is INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME. It is literally a game changer!
INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME in numerous cases reduces the total healthcare cost massively. Patients can be discharged from Intensive Care/ICU to home directly and get the treatment such as long-term ventilator weaning at home or sometimes palliative care at home with the same quality of monitoring and treatment. Today with the help of remote monitoring systems and ICU control rooms, real-time monitoring of patients is possible by intensivists.
Apps improve communication too. Orders and instructions can be given in real time. A Patient can be seen via apps such as Skype, what’s app, Google live etc…
As consumer lifestyles change, expectations as well as education improves treatment strategies need to evolve as well. Innovative technology within the INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME healthcare space will enable a paradigm shift with real-time personalisation, individualisation and patient as well as family empowerment.
Many hospitals and Intensive Care Units/ICU’s do not support collaboration with the INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME environment yet and some have already embraced it.
Many Intensive Care units/ICU’s feel threatened by this model, whereas, in reality, INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME is a valuable partner for Intensive Care Units/ICU’s in providing a genuine alternative to a long-term stay in Intensive Care/ICU!
In fact, having a collaborative relationship between Intensive Care Units/ICU’s and INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME is creating a win-win situation for hospitals, the Patients and their families as well as INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME.
Taking long-term, life support dependent and sometimes terminally ill Patients home from ICU directly eases the pressure on the ICU beds, on emergency departments, therefore making room and creating resources to admit new critically ill Patients back to Intensive Care!
Intensive Care Units/ICU’s can prevent overcrowding and its associated perils such as hospital-acquired infections by partnering with home healthcare experts such as INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME. Therefore, INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME is making sure ICU beds are available for critical patients in the ICU.
This concept of INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME also provides a faster recovery for the Patients due to the Patient and family friendly environment!
The expert continuum in the home is ensured, therefore eliminating and minimising the risk for readmission back to Intensive Care!
We use exceptionally well-trained and highly qualified Intensive Care nursing staff to deliver on the INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME experience!
From providing patients with intravenous infusions when required, to tracheostomy care, mechanical ventilation, BIPAP/CPAP ventilation, home TPN, seizure management, end of life/palliative care to highly sophisticated vital signs and heart monitoring, INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME ensures all of this can be done at home. Real live feedback, using remote monitoring equipment, real-time data is fed constantly to medical specialists in hospitals to ensure round the clock expert care and supervision.
We often develop very close relationships with our clients and their families, which can be used to provide feedback to hospitals to improve their services.
Often Intensive Care units/ICU’s believe that INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME is a financial threat and could challenge their revenue streams, however, this is certainly not the case. In fact, INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME helps freeing up the most expensive and the most sought-after bed in a hospital, the Intensive Care/ICU bed.
ICU beds usually generate the highest revenue in the beginning, but usually less after time progresses.
This puts massive pressure on the ICU’s.
Therefore, long-term intensive care patients are not only a financial but also a bed-block risk for intensive care!
INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME steps in at that point, by providing the same level of care at home, in the comfort of a patient’s home while reducing the cost by 50% and freeing up the ICU bed.
This partnership between hospitals and INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME is the innovative solution needed to solve the massive shortage of ICU beds.
If you want to find out how we can help you to get your loved one out of Intensive Care including palliative care or Long-term acute care (also nursing home) or if you find that you have insufficient support for your loved one at home on a ventilator, if you want to know how to get funding for our service or if you have any questions please send me an email to [email protected] or call on one of the numbers below.
Australia/New Zealand +61 41 094 2230
USA/Canada +1 415-915-0090
UK/Ireland +44 118 324 3018
Also, check out our careers section here
We are currently hiring ICU/PICU nurses for clients in Melbourne, Sunbury and in South Gippsland/Victoria.
We are an NDIS, TAC (Victoria) and DVA (Department of Veteran affairs) approved community service provider in Australia.
We have also been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program for innovative health care companies last year!
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME and I see you again next week in another update!