In a pioneering collaboration, Mass General Brigham partners with Best Buy Health to revolutionize at-home healthcare. Leveraging the acclaimed Current Health platform, they aim to expand their Home Hospital model, improving patient outcomes and reducing readmission rates. This innovative alliance signals a shift towards patient-centric care, merging technology and shared visions to shape the future of healthcare.
In the evolving landscape of healthcare, the concept of hospital-at-home services has gained significant momentum. Recognizing the potential of this model, Mass General Brigham, a leading health system, has embarked on a transformative partnership with Best Buy Health to further enhance and expand its at-home healthcare offerings.
Mass General Brigham has already made strides in this realm, having established the Mass General Brigham (MGB) Home Hospital in 2022, amalgamating hospital-at-home programs from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital initiated in 2017. This innovative Home Hospital delivers a spectrum of services, ranging from in-person and virtual visits to continuous access to care teams via phone and video, remote monitoring of vital signs, medication administration, therapy, and more.
Catering to various clinical conditions such as asthma, heart failure, and pneumonia, the Home Hospital has proven its effectiveness with an average daily census of nine patients as of January 2022. Stephen Dorner, MD, chief clinical and innovation officer for Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home, highlighted the appeal of such an environment, stating, “Patients and clinicians alike love the therapeutic relationship afforded through the home-based environment.”
The collaboration with Best Buy Health aims to bolster Mass General Brigham’s Healthcare at Home portfolio by leveraging the Current Health platform. This strategic alliance will facilitate the expansion of the Home Hospital model across various community hospital sites, including Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Salem Hospital. With plans to shift around 10 percent of inpatient care to patient homes in the coming five years, this partnership signifies a substantial step towards improving healthcare accessibility and delivery.
Dorner emphasized the need for additional support to materialize their hospital-at-home expansion plans, prompting the health system to meticulously assess potential partners. Best Buy’s Current Health platform emerged as the optimal choice due to its technological prowess and shared vision of the future of healthcare. Both entities align in their belief that the future of healthcare resides in home-based solutions, thereby fostering a symbiotic commitment to realize this vision.
The partnership endeavors to bridge the gap between patients and clinicians over extended distances, streamline logistics to ensure prompt availability of medications and care teams in patients’ homes, and enhance workforce training to accommodate acute care in home settings. Alongside deploying Current Health, Best Buy Health will introduce Lively Mobile Plus, a personal emergency response system designed to detect falls and provide immediate assistance.
Moreover, the collaboration intends to enhance patient outcomes and mitigate readmission rates, drawing on research supporting the efficacy of hospital-at-home models. Studies have revealed comparable mortality risks but significantly lower readmission and long-term care facility admission rates for patients enrolled in hospital-at-home programs compared to in-hospital care.
Highlighting the holistic benefits, Dorner emphasized, “Clinicians report a high degree of satisfaction in connecting with patients in their environment where they can have a better vantage point of the drivers of health and wellbeing.” This integration of home-based care into clinicians’ portfolios not only enhances job satisfaction but also serves as a potential mitigator for burnout, aiding in retaining healthcare professionals.
Echoing this sentiment, Gelston underscored the joint efforts of Best Buy Health and Mass General Brigham in investing in the community to cultivate the next generation of at-home healthcare workers. Initiatives such as scholarships for students pursuing careers in nursing, paramedics, and digital technology within the at-home care setting demonstrate their commitment to nurturing talent in this evolving healthcare landscape.
However, despite the evident advantages, barriers to the widespread adoption of hospital-at-home care persist. Dorner highlighted the relative novelty of the model, underscoring the need for educational campaigns, advocacy at policy levels, and supportive measures to facilitate its integration into mainstream healthcare. The recent endorsement of the Acute Hospital Care at Home initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has propelled this model but demands further education and policy support.
The collaboration between Mass General Brigham and Best Buy Health represents a significant stride toward revolutionizing healthcare delivery. By harnessing technology and shared visions, the partnership endeavors to reshape the healthcare landscape, advancing patient-centric care and providing a sustainable solution to the evolving demands of the healthcare industry.