According to a study from the Institute of Medicine titled “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century”, the leading consensus now is that our country’s health care system should be redesigned to improve the delivery of care that patients receive.
The studied identified what is known as ‘patient centered care’, which is defined as a type of care that is respectful of individual patient preferences, values, and needs. Additionally, the paper showed the importance of ensuring that patient values were the main guide for clinical decisions during their care.
This has been a challenge in the traditional hospital setting due in large part because of several issues including:
• The need to move patients through the system rapidly to free up bed space
• The complexity and acuity of the illness or illnesses that may be treated
• Frequency changes of the health care team
The report also said that finding a way to implement patient centered care within the hospital system is a must in order to improve care quality throughout the future. Luckily, a solution may already be here – the virtual hospital model of care.
With the virtual hospital model, hospitals are able to implement a kind of command center in their facility that will link to technology in the patient’s home. Care for acute conditions is provided directly in the home instead of in a hospital, with nurses and physicians visiting regularly and the in-home technology available for patients to interact with care providers.
This virtual hospital model not only lowers costs for hospitals and patients, but also reduces the trauma of hospitalization entirely since patients receive their care without leaving the comfort of their home. Studies have already shown how effective this model is, and it is continuing to gain popularity as more research is done.