“The holiday would have been a lot lonelier at the hospital.” 

Due to his health history, Rick is no stranger to hospital stays. Completely paralyzed below T5, he has learned to pay close attention to his body, watching for signs of any problems he might not have sensation of. So, when a large bump suddenly appeared on one hip, he promptly sought medical attention at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH)’s St. Joseph Medical Center. 

“I went to the ER because I couldn’t figure out what it was,” he recalls. After several hours being evaluated, Rick was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of septic arthritis, a serious infection requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatment. 

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, Rick shared that he was disheartened to learn he would have to be admitted to the hospital to receive his IV antibiotics. “It’s frustrating to stay there 24 hours a day to receive two hours of treatment a day,” he explained. To his relief, after only two days in the hospital he was approached by a Recovery Care Coordinator with VMFH’s Home Recovery Care program with some exciting information: he could enroll in the program to return home and receive the remainder of his hospital care. 

There’s no place like home for the holidays  

With Home Recovery Care, Rick would be able to receive twice daily nursing visits and his IV antibiotic treatment, along with 24/7 access to a virtual care unit. The program also equips patients with remote patient monitoring devices and allows for virtual physician visits. “I elected to go home,” Rick explains, “because if I’m going to get the same care as at the hospital, I might as well be home.” 

He added that many times in the past, he’s been in the hospital during important events. “I’ve been there before on my birthday, I’ve been there on Christmas and Thanksgiving, and it’s not a lot of fun,” he shares. Because Home Recovery Care brought him home in time for the holiday, he was able to spend it with family and friends. “We had some neighbors come over, and my son and his wife and their kids. It would have been a lot lonelier at the hospital.” And, he points out, “You can’t beat home cooking!”  

Seamless support and easy recovery 

Even with the added element of holiday gatherings in the mix, Rick found the care he received was well-organized and prompt. “They had medication here and a nurse here when I got home,” he says. “I think it worked out great. We had our Thanksgiving dinner a little earlier, so they came a little later. They were very cooperative as far as scheduling around what we needed to do, so it was no problem.” 

After completing his treatment, Rick was able to seamlessly transition back to his usual routine of care at home, including his traditional home health care to address his other medical needs. “I’m doing pretty good,” he says, and explained that the infectious disease specialist that VMFH referred him to expects his full recovery.  

The best part of the program, he says, is being at home. “I think you should offer this to as many people as you can,” Rick stated. “It’s a lot better at home.” 

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