“Why go to the hospital when you can get care at home?”
Sometimes you just have a sense that a medical problem is getting too serious to ignore, and that was the case for William. “I had a serious infection in my hand,” the 84-year-old shares. With a history of atrial fibrillation and diabetes, he says, “I told my wife, that infection level gets too bad, it’s liable to do something to my heart, and my sugar, and I got scared.”
That prompted William and his wife of 60 years, Judy, to head to the emergency room at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center near their home in Chandler, Arizona. “They said it’s a good thing I came in. I could have gotten very, very seriously [sick].”
Diagnosed with cellulitis of his left hand, William needed IV antibiotics to effectively treat the infection. With the hospital already full and no beds available, William was waiting in the ER hallway to be admitted for treatment. “I was in the hallway for four hours,” he recalled. That’s when he was approached by two providers from the Dignity Health Home Recovery Care team.
“They presented the program very, very well. And they said if you decide to join the program, you won’t have to stay overnight at the hospital, we’ll come to your home and put you on the IV,” William shared.
“Why go to the hospital when you can get care at home?” Judy added. “When they said, ‘home care,’ we jumped on that!”
William was sent home with remote monitoring equipment for recording his vital signs, a tablet for virtual physician visits, and the IV antibiotics he needed to get well. To start the program, he also received twice daily nursing visits. He was then moved into a 30-day monitoring phase where the team followed up with his care regularly to make sure he was continuing to improve.
He says his virtual visits with the doctor helped him to understand what he needed to do to get well: “That doctor, he didn’t just ask you one or two questions, he went into a series of questions. My own primary care doctors, they don’t spend as much time with me as he did. He spent at least 15-20 minutes on that monitor with me.”
He emphasized that he was especially impressed with the efficiency of the nursing care. “They told me they would call me every Thursday at 10 am, which they did. On the last day of the month, they called and asked how everything was going, and told me they would come get the equipment, which they did- they are a very timely group.”
He continued, “What a team you guys have there. Each and every one of them, they treated you like they’ve known you for a long, long time, and like you were part of the family- the Dignity Health family.”
This exemplary care prompted William to assign his regular team of caregivers a moniker. He recalls with a chuckle, “I said, ‘I have to give you a nickname, and your nickname is the A-Team of Home Recovery Care.’”
Asked whether he would recommend the program to others, he stated, “Wholeheartedly– because you guys are really running it fantastically. You guys are doing a great job. I loved your team. Everything is step-by-step; they don’t miss a thing. They’re people of their word. They all get an A+, an A++!”