Physician Spotlight: Dr. Phoebe Ling, Prisma Health Home Recovery Care
When Dr. Phoebe Ling, an internal medicine physician, joined Prisma Health in September 2021, the South Carolina health system was in the grips of a COVID-19 surge. To decant the hospital, leadership turned to Home Recovery Care, a service provided through a partnership with Contessa that allows patients to receive hospital-level care in their homes. Dr. Ling was asked to join the team.
“Honestly, I was skeptical at first because I wasn’t sure how we could provide acute care in the home setting,” said Dr. Ling. “Once I saw how well patients healed in the comfort of their home, I became an advocate.”
Prisma Health launched Home Recovery Care in 2020. The care model brings all the essential elements of a hospital room into patients’ homes, allowing Prisma Health providers to see patients virtually. Patients are sent home with remote patient monitoring devices, durable medical equipment, and are visited twice daily by a registered nurse. Their episode is managed by a Recovery Care Coordinator who oversees the patient’s treatment plan, communicates with the care team, and schedules follow-up appointments.
“One of the biggest takeaways is how well we work together. The Recovery Care Coordinator provides an extra layer of communication, which allows us to better treat the patients from a comprehensive, patient-centered perspective. We approach each episode as a team, providing a better outcome and experience to our patients.”
It’s that teamwork that also allows Dr. Ling to get a holistic view of her patient’s wellbeing. Virtual home visits give her a peek inside patients’ homes. She can better assess diet, fall-hazards, and caregiver gaps. Dr. Ling describes the visiting nurse as her eyes and ears, providing additional exam components to enhance her virtual visits.
The pandemic has accelerated the model’s popularity with patients and physicians alike. Patients appreciate healing in their own home with loved ones, home-cooked meals, and familiar surroundings. Physicians appreciate the flexibility, a commodity during the pandemic.
“It’s not typical for a physician to work from home, but it works great. It saves me time and is more convenient, and I am still able to keep my caseload. This is a step in the right direction for healthcare, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”