In Contessa’s early days, doctors saw our model – hospital-level, inpatient care inside patients’ homes – as an entirely novel concept. While the idea has been around for decades and successfully practiced in countries around the world, it was and still is a new care model for most American practitioners. Some skepticism, and even some resistance, was to be expected.
More recently, however, hospital care at home is scaling faster due to COVID-19 patient surges, quarantine restrictions and policy changes. As a result, Contessa is starting to see an acceleration in our adoption curve.
We’ve come to see that the success of our model can typically be traced to a few key elements which help make it more widely embraced by physicians:
- Proven patient safety. Providers are inherently used to giving hands-on care. However, once physicians have experience with Contessa’s remote patient monitoring devices, we’ve seen them get comfortable with virtual visits. Patients show better results and report better perceptions of their health after being treated at home. Seeing that firsthand goes farther than any sales pitch we could ever make.
- Integration with telehealth. So far, the increased utilization of telehealth services looks to be one of COVID-19’s lasting impacts on our industry. Telehealth is a facilitating component of our model, allowing physicians to deliver care in a virtual setting. Doctors have seen this firsthand and experienced the care that can be delivered safely and effectively through this platform.
- More preferred site of care. The pandemic has shifted every aspect of daily life into the home, it’s done the same to the delivery of healthcare. More than 85 percent of eligible patients, when given the option, choose to receive their hospital care at home. Home is where patients feel safest – and providers know the difficulties that so often ensue when patients are stressed or unsure about their surroundings.
- Support for hospital resources. At the onset of the pandemic, many health systems faced a patient surge that quickly filled hospitals to capacity. At some, more patients needed intensive care than the hospitals could offer. Shifting patients to receive care at home allowed physicians in hospital settings to apply their highest acuity resources onsite and redistribute patients of lower acuity to receive care at home. Seeing this benefit, many health systems are now building home hospital care into their disaster preparedness plans.
Though these unique times have helped demonstrate the efficacy of Contessa’s model, we know that physician engagement is the key to truly advancing it.