“Hospitalization at Home Got Me into the Rhythm of Taking Care of Myself”

William Davenport built his career as a dancer. Using his body as an instrument, it was concerning when health issues started slowing down the 73-year-old performer. Diabetes and pulmonary sarcoidosis diagnosis kept him in and out of the hospital. One stay was 30 days long including a stint in the ICU and two-weeks in rehab. He swore he would never stay in the hospital that long again.

When his blood pressure plummeted in August, he was sent to the ER at Mount Sinai West. Hospitalization at Home, which Mount Sinai provides through a partnership with Contessa, was a perfect fit for his condition. He was transported home in an ambulance. At his apartment, he was met by an acute care nurse who set up all of his remote patient monitoring devices: blood pressure cuff, scale, thermometer, pulse oximeter and a tablet for doctor appointments. He soon found that getting hospital-level care at home not only improved his health but his understanding of his conditions, as well.

“The nurses got me into a rhythm of taking care of myself. I now check my vitals and take my meds daily. It’s just like learning to dance. You have to practice your tendus and piques before getting en pointe. Once I got into the rhythm, I was feeling better.”

Davenport was greeted every morning with a call from a Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC) who managed his care throughout the episode. While in the acute phase, he saw a registered nurse twice-a-day, and the visits tapered off as he improved.

“The nurses were the best part of the program! They came in every day with a smile on their face and made me feel like I was their only patient. Just hearing their voices would cheer me up. I give them six out of five stars.”

It’s that level of care that Davenport says empowered him to take his health into his own hands. Prior to Hospitalization at Home, he was prescribed a multitude of medications, given a stationary oxygen machine and never educated on managing his chronic conditions. That changed with hospital-level care in the home.

“Once they showed me how to use the equipment, it was easy to read and chart my own vitals. The portable oxygen gives me more mobility. My nurse organized my medications and explained what each pill is for. I now have a better understanding of what foods trigger high blood sugar. I wasn’t educated on any of this before.”

Davenport is discharged from the program and feeling better. He is still adjusting to life on oxygen—but that doesn’t keep him from teaching virtual ballet classes. He is looking forward to booking more performances in the future, but for now, his full-time job is staying healthy.

Posted in