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Hospital-at-home: Ensure supplies fulfillment

Hospital-at-home: Ensure supplies fulfillment

Alex HoopesQ. What does a hospital-at-home program need to succeed?   

A. Hospital-at-home is one of the most effective care models I’ve seen to achieve the triple-aim of helping improve patient outcomes and patient experience while decreasing costs. At least one study in 2020 has shown that hospital-at-home costs are less than costs accumulated for patients in a traditional setting.  

While we’re on an exciting horizon for home-based health care, for hospital-at-home to succeed there are critical shifts we’ll need to make to equally enable services that meet patients exactly where they are. As part of this, a major priority to consider for the hospital-at-home movement is ensuring that the fulfillment of supplies needed for hospital-at-home programs across the country is consistent in quality and delivered when patients need it. We often say, “right product, right patient, right time,” and now “at the right place” is added as a new dynamic.  

Something else that’s deeply critical to the success of hospital-at-home is decreasing the time-consuming and burdensome administrative work that falls on clinicians’ plates today – this needs to be top-of-mind. Moving high-acuity care into the home is complex. It requires meticulous coordination and timely execution. A bigger challenge of implementing and scaling hospital-at-home is orchestrating the supply chain, which often becomes the clinicians’ responsibilities. Working with a distribution expert who can manage inventory, fulfillment and delivery of a wide range of products, troubleshooting, remote monitoring and more, may help a health system realize cost containment and find more time to focus on patient care. This logistics coordination creates reliability in the supply chain and brings timeliness to hospital-at-home care.  

Above all, a tangible benefit of hospital-at-home is in the magic of patient care. Patients can sit on their porch throughout the day and enjoy fresh air while still receiving the care they need to recover. This, to me, is the greatest benefit of hospital-at-home – it’s an unmatched level of comfort that patients couldn’t receive outside the home.  

Alex Hoopes is senior director, Strategy and Execution – Cardinal Health Velocare.


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