Physician Spotlight: Dr. Sellers, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Home Recovery Care

Dr. David Sellers was impressed when he heard about Hospital Care at Home at a conference, but he didn’t think he would see the clinically advanced care model in this generation. To his surprise, Ascension Saint Thomas was already working with Contessa on a plan to roll it out in its Middle Tennessee hospitals.

“At first I was skeptical because it sounded so cutting-edge,” said Dr. Sellers. “Once I was educated on the program and started admitting patients, I understood the value of this level of patient-centered care.”

Contessa partners with Ascension Saint Thomas to provide Hospital Care at Home in three of the health system’s Middle Tennessee locations. Dr. Sellers is the lead hospitalist and Chief of Staff at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford in Murfreesboro. He works closely with the program’s Recovery Care Coordinators, registered nurses who monitor the ED boards for eligible patients, admit patients into the program, and manage their physician-directed care plan for up to 30 days.

“I have the utmost respect for our Recovery Care Coordinators. They are persistent in their advocacy for patients. Their ability to handle every hurdle with grace is why our patients have better outcomes and experiences.”

Dr. Sellers was initially concerned his physician colleagues might not recognize this great value and patients would shy away from this untraditional care-model. Turns out, neither were issues. Once providers understand the benefits, they are more inclined to refer patients to the program. It also helps that the Recovery Care Coordinators handle most of the administrative duties, so there isn’t much heavy lifting on their part. In addition, patients and families are eager to return home with hospital-level care.

“There is a real need for hospital-level care in the home. I frequently see patients in the ED with pillows and bags, they are prepared for a hospital stay. It’s a relief when we give them the option to go home. It’s safe, efficient, and delivers better outcomes. People really do heal better in their own environment.”