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'Sky's the limit': Hospital at Home launches in Vancouver

In order to get health care at home, people need to qualify and be eligible.

People looking to have health care brought to the comforts of their own home could be in luck. 

Vancouver Costal Health announced April 12 a new program called Hospital at Home, allowing people to receive acute care in their own home. 

Ricardo Garcia is a Hospital at Home patient through Vancouver General Hospital and says the level of care is great. 

"You're in the comfort of your own home, but you're also getting the primo care that you need,” he says. 

The program is purely voluntary. Patients need to be eligible and selected by the hospital to qualify. 

Dr. Iain McCormick, VGH Hospital at Home lead, says the biggest benefit of the program is patient recovery at home.

"We can do exactly the same things that we're doing in the hospital,” says McCormick. "We can give IV medications. They’re having a physician visit every day. Nurses are coming and seeing them once or twice a day, but they don't have to be in a hospital bed.”

People who have been diagnosed with sepsis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or dehydration can be eligible for the program. 

The program is a first for Vancouver and will be offered through Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, UBC Hospital and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. 

In January, the program slowly started and is now fully up and running.

"I think the sky’s the limit for a hospital at home because we can do the same job or even a better job in this wonderful environment where patients thrive,” says McCormick.

Since the start of April, the program has supported up to 18 patients at a time in their own homes in Vancouver.  

Care teams provide services in homes, including medication management, blood draws, IV therapy, and supplemental oxygen. 

Both Island Health and Northern Health Authority also have the program.

To learn more about Hospital at Home, visit Vancouver Coastal Health’s website.

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