Family Stories & Experiences
Families of patients who have been part of Hospital at Home® report greater satisfaction with the care received. Compared to family members of patients treated in an acute care hospital, they have reported:
- Higher levels of satisfaction with physician and other health care provider relationships
- Less stress related to the experience of having a family member cared for and treated.
- Higher satisfaction with the admission and discharge process.
Family members also rated Hospital at Home to be as safe as the acute hospital, and found their home to be a more comfortable setting for their sick family member.
Rose Zehner, the daughter and caregiver of one of the program's first patients, cared for her father for many years at home. Physically getting him out of her home to see doctors became more and more difficult. When his congestive heart failure again required medical attention, he was admitted to Hospital at Home. "I thought it was a wonderful theory," says Zehner. "There's nothing better than home care because patients are far more comfortable there than in the hospital."
The Role of Family in Hospital at Home
In a traditional acute hospital, hospital workers prepare the food, straighten up the room, and make the bed. In Hospital at Home, the nurse and the family member share these responsibilities. However, family members do not give medication, or function as a nurse.
In our studies, family members did not report the activities performed during the Hospital at Home care to be stressful. After discharge from Hospital at Home, the family members said they returned to the usual tasks that they did for the patient.