The British Columbia government in Canada has rolled out the Hospital at Home (HaH) programme for four hospitals in Vancouver, enabling patients to receive acute-level care in the comfort of their homes.  

The four hospitals include Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJH), UBC Hospital (UBCH), and St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH). 

As part of this programme, eligible patients across these four facilities can now opt to receive timely and safe acute care services at their home instead of staying at the hospital, if considered safe by the doctors.  

The initiative offers an alternative to traditional inpatient care for various conditions such as dehydration, sepsis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, among other conditions. 

The HaH effort, recognised internationally for its safety and effectiveness, aims to enhance patient comfort and independence.  

It employs multidisciplinary teams comprising doctors, speech-language pathologists, registered nurses, occupational and physiotherapists, pharmacists as well as other specialists to deliver tailored care as per each patient’s specific needs.  

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Since March 2024, the programme has supported up to 18 patients simultaneously in Vancouver. 

Eligible patients who are medically and geographically suitable can voluntarily participate in the HaH programme. They are equipped with a virtual call bell and a phone number to reach their care team round the clock.  

Should a patient decide to exit the programme or require hospital services, arrangements will be made for their seamless transfer back to the respective hospital. 

Daily home visits from the HaH healthcare professionals and access to 24/7 consultation ensure continuous patient care. The programme also facilitates virtual visits from other team members.  

Services provided at home include medication management, IV therapy, blood draws, and supplemental oxygen. 

The programme, in partnership with Evo Car Share, provides the registered hospital staff with vehicles for daily patient visits, enabling both in-person and virtual consultations, as per the requirement.  

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said: “Piloted in the Island Health’s hospitals, the HaH programme has had remarkably successful results.  

“As our government is committed to strengthening people’s access to high-quality health services, the launch of this programme in the Lower Mainland will help improve care at Vancouver hospitals.”