Paediatric home care in Tower Hamlets: a working partnership with parents.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the first two years of a paediatric home care service. DESIGN: Observational cross sectional study, 1989-91. SETTING: One inner London health district. PATIENTS: 611 children referred to the service; 50 children selected from those referred during the first year, whose parents were interviewed and whose general practitioners were invited to complete a questionnaire. MAIN MEASURES: Description and costs of service; views of parents and general practitioners of selected sample of children. RESULTS: In its second year the team received 303 referrals and made 4004 visits at a salary cost of 98000 pounds, an average of 323 pounds/referral and 24 pounds/visit. This represented a referral rate of 3.2% (258/7939) of inpatient episodes from the main referring hospital between 1 December 1989 and 30 November 1990. Of all referrals to the service, 343(56%) came from hospital inpatient wards. The service was used by disadvantaged and ethnic minority families. The children's parents (in 28(61%) families) and the home care team did a wide range of nursing tasks in the home. Parents of 47(94%) children sampled agreed to be interviewed, and those of 43(91%) found the service useful; guidance and support were most commonly appreciated (33, 70%). Parents of 25(53%) children said that hospital stay or attendance had been reduced or avoided. Parents and general practitioners disagreed on clinical responsibility in 10 children, and communication was a problem for some general practitioners. CONCLUSIONS: The service enabled children to receive advanced nursing care at home. Clinical responsibility should be agreed between parents and professionals at referral. (+info)
Home prophylactic warfarin anticoagulation program after hip and knee arthroplasty.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficiency of a program designed to maintain prophylactic oral anticoagulation within a target range for 6 weeks after hip and knee arthroplasty. DESIGN: A prospective continuous quality improvement indicator. SETTING: A tertiary care university hospital. PATIENTS: Patients who underwent hip and knee arthroplasty and had no indications for routine anticoagulation other than postoperative thromboembolism prophylaxis. INTERVENTION: An outpatient warfarin prophylaxis program, which included an information letter given to the patient. Home Care coordinated community laboratory services, communication with and anticoagulant dosage adjustment by the patient's personal family physician. OUTCOME MEASURES: The proportion of international normalized ratio (INR) values within, below and above the target range of 2.0 to 3.0. RESULTS: Sixty-two patients were enrolled over a 3-month period. On the day of hospital discharge, 64% of patients had INR values that were within the target range, 31% were below and 5% were above. After hospital discharge, 42% of the INR values were within the target range, 48% were below and 10% were above. CONCLUSION: Despite a program designed to address patient information, physician communication and laboratory testing, tight control of home INR values could not be achieved with the existing resources of Home Care and family physicians. (+info)
Measuring the quality of hospital in the home care: a clinical indicator approach.
BACKGROUND: Hospital in the home (HIH) refers to the delivery of acute hospital care to patients at home. This includes the delivery of intravenous therapy, low molecular weight heparin, and complex wound care that would necessitate hospital admission. The development of quality assessment and improvement in HIH has been hampered by several factors. OBJECTIVE: To (i) develop clinical indicators for HIH care from an analysis of the current literature and test their suitability for implementation by HIH programmes; and (ii) make a preliminary assessment of the quality of HIH care delivered in several HIH units in Victoria, through an examination of clinical indicator data. DESIGN: Prospective descriptive study in 3 consecutive months of HIH admissions. PARTICIPANTS: Nine HIH units in Victoria, Australia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/INTERVENTIONS: Five clinical indicators for HIH care: unexpected patient telephone calls; unplanned staff call-outs; unplanned return to hospital; medication administration errors; and patient refusal to consent to HIH care. RESULTS: Seven hundred and fifty-nine patient admissions over a 3-month period were included. On average, 10% of patients made an unexpected telephone call, 2.4% of patient admissions required an unplanned staff call-out, and 7.3% of admissions resulted in an unplanned return to hospital. Only one medication administration error was reported. Patient refusal of HIH was very uncommon. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical indicators relating to unexpected patient telephone calls, unplanned staff call-outs and returns to hospital are recommended for inclusion in Australia's hospital accreditation programme. On the basis of this study, it appears that HIH is a safe and acceptable form of care. However, the findings also suggest a minimum level of service provision, particularly in the area of after-hours support, for the safe management of acute hospital care at home. (+info)
Does hospital at home for palliative care facilitate death at home? Randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact on place of death of a hospital at home service for palliative care. DESIGN: Pragmatic randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Former Cambridge health district. PARTICIPANTS: 229 patients referred to the hospital at home service; 43 randomised to control group (standard care), 186 randomised to hospital at home. INTERVENTION: Hospital at home versus standard care. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Place of death. RESULTS: Twenty five (58%) control patients died at home compared with 124 (67%) patients allocated to hospital at home. This difference was not significant; intention to treat analysis did not show that hospital at home increased the number of deaths at home. Seventy three patients randomised to hospital at home were not admitted to the service. Patients admitted to hospital at home were significantly more likely to die at home (88/113; 78%) than control patients. It is not possible to determine whether this was due to hospital at home itself or other characteristics of the patients admitted to the service. The study attained less statistical power than initially planned. CONCLUSION: In a locality with good provision of standard community care we could not show that hospital at home allowed more patients to die at home, although neither does the study refute this. Problems relating to recruitment, attrition, and the vulnerability of the patient group make randomised controlled trials in palliative care difficult. While these difficulties have to be recognised they are not insurmountable with the appropriate resourcing and setting. (+info)
Randomised controlled trial of effectiveness of Leicester hospital at home scheme compared with hospital care.
OBJECTIVE: To compare effectiveness of patient care in hospital at home scheme with hospital care. DESIGN: Pragmatic randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Leicester hospital at home scheme and the city's three acute hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: 199 consecutive patients referred to hospital at home by their general practitioner and assessed as being suitable for admission. Six of 102 patients randomised to hospital at home refused admission, as did 23 of 97 allocated to hospital. INTERVENTION: Hospital at home or hospital inpatient care. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mortality and change in health status (Barthel index, sickness impact profile 68, EuroQol, Philadelphia geriatric morale scale) assessed at 2 weeks and 3 months after randomisation. The main process measures were service inputs, discharge destination, readmission rates, length of initial stay, and total days of care. RESULTS: Hospital at home group and hospital group showed no significant differences in health status (median scores on sickness impact profile 68 were 29 and 30 respectively at 2 weeks, and 24 and 26 at 3 months) or in dependency (Barthel scores 15 and 14 at 2 weeks and 16 for both groups at 3 months). At 3 months' follow up, 26 (25%) of hospital at home group had died compared with 30 (31%) of hospital group (relative risk 0. 82 (95% confidence interval 0.52 to 1.28)). Hospital at home group required fewer days of treatment than hospital group, both in terms of initial stay (median 8 days v 14.5 days, P=0.026) and total days of care at 3 months (median 9 days v 16 days, P=0.031). CONCLUSIONS: Hospital at home scheme delivered care as effectively as hospital, with no clinically important differences in health status. Hospital at home resulted in significantly shorter lengths of stay, which did not lead to a higher rate of subsequent admission. (+info)
Economic evaluation of hospital at home versus hospital care: cost minimisation analysis of data from randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the costs of admission to a hospital at home scheme with those of acute hospital admission. DESIGN: Cost minimisation analysis within a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Hospital at home scheme in Leicester and the city's three acute hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: 199 consecutive patients assessed as being suitable for admission to hospital at home for acute care during the 18 month trial period (median age 84 years). INTERVENTION: Hospital at home or hospital inpatient care. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Costs to NHS, social services, patients, and families during the initial episode of treatment and the three months after admission. RESULTS: Mean (median) costs per episode (including any transfer from hospital at home to hospital) were similar when analysed by intention to treat-hospital at home 2569 pounds sterling (1655 pounds sterling), hospital ward 2881 pounds sterling (2031 pounds sterling), bootstrap mean difference -305 (95% confidence interval -1112 to 448). When analysis was restricted to those who accepted their allocated place of care, hospital at home was significantly cheaper-hospital at home 2557 pounds sterling(1710 pounds sterling), hospital ward 3660 pounds sterling (2903 pounds sterling), bootstrap mean difference -1071 (-1843 to -246). At three months the cost differences were sustained. Costs with all cases included were hospital at home 3671 pounds sterling (2491 pounds sterling), hospital ward 3877 pounds sterling (3405 pounds sterling), bootstrap mean difference -210 (-1025 to 635). When only those accepting allocated care were included the costs were hospital at home 3698 pounds sterling (2493 pounds sterling), hospital ward 4761 pounds sterling (3940 pounds sterling), bootstrap mean difference -1063 (-2044 to -163); P=0.009. About 25% of the costs for episodes of hospital at home were incurred through transfer to hospital. Costs per day of care were higher in the hospital at home arm (mean 207 pounds sterling v 134 pounds sterling in the hospital arm, excluding refusers, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Hospital at home can deliver care at similar or lower cost than an equivalent admission to an acute hospital. (+info)
A randomized trial of comprehensive geriatric assessment and home intervention in the care of hospitalized patients.
OBJECTIVE: to prove the effectiveness of geriatric evaluation and management for elderly, hospitalized patients, combined with post-discharge home intervention by an interdisciplinary team. DESIGN: randomized controlled trial with outcome and costs assessed for 12 months after the date of admission. SETTING: university-affiliated geriatric hospital and the homes of elderly patients. SUBJECTS: 545 patients with acute illnesses admitted from home to the geriatric hospital. INTERVENTIONS: patients were randomly assigned to receive either comprehensive geriatric assessment and post-discharge home intervention (intervention), comprehensive geriatric assessment alone (assessment) or usual care. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: survival, functional status, rehospitalization, nursing home placement and direct costs over 12 months. RESULTS: the intervention group showed a significant reduction in length of hospital stay (33.49 days vs 40.7 days in the assessment group and 42.7 days in the control group; P < 0.05) and rate of immediate nursing home placement (4.4% vs 7.3% and 8.1%; P < 0.05). There was no difference in survival, acute care hospital readmissions or new admissions to nursing homes but the intervention group had significantly shorter hospital readmissions (22.2 days vs 34.2 days and 35.7 days; P < 0.05) and nursing home placements (114.7 days vs 161.6 days and 170.0 days; P < 0.05). Direct costs were lower in the intervention group [about DM 7000 (US $4000) per person per year]. Functional capacities were significantly better in the intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: comprehensive geriatric assessment in combination with post-discharge home intervention does not improve survival, but does improve functional status and can reduce the length of the initial hospital stay and of subsequent readmissions. It can reduce the rate of immediate nursing home admissions and delay permanent nursing home placement. It may also substantially reduce direct costs of hospitalized patients. (+info)
Infections in patients managed at home during autologous stem cell transplantation for lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
A group of 51 patients with multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease receiving high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell rescue received chemotherapy and clinical care in the peritransplant period at home. This group was compared with 88 cases with the same diagnoses, receiving the peripheral stem cell transplant over the same time period as an inpatient in a high efficiency particulate air filtered bone marrow transplant unit. Patients were treated at home based on choice, geographic accessibility, availability of an educated care giver and a clean home environment, and comprehension of the concepts of infection and aseptic techniques. Febrile neutropenia and sepsis were not increased in the home group and no episodes of septic shock were seen in this group. Patients at home received prophylactic oral ciprofloxacin and roxithromycin during the phase when the absolute neutrophil count was < 1 x 10(9)/l. Fewer gram-negative infections, but no diminution in gram-positive infections or in the rate of fever were seen in patients at home. Empiric therapy with a third generation cephalosporin, teicoplanin and tobramycin was instituted in 31 patients who developed a fever greater than 38.5 degrees C. Of this group of 31, 18 required admission to hospital, 12 because of febrile neutropenia which persisted or was considered unsuitable for management at home due to sepsis. The remaining 13 with febrile neutropenia remained at home throughout, as did the 20 cases not developing neutropenic fever. This study demonstrates the feasibility of managing carefully selected patients in their home environment when at risk from febrile neutropenia or other septic complications following autologous peripheral stem cell support. (+info)