Remote Physician Care for Home Hospital Patients

Clinical Trial ID: NCT04080570


This study examines the implications of providing remote physician care to home hospitalized patients compared to usual home hospital care with in-person/in-home physician visits.

Home hospital care is hospital-level care at home for acutely ill patients. In multiple publications, home hospital care delivered cost-effective, high-quality, excellent experience care with similar quality and safety as traditional hospital care. Most home hospital models require a licensed independent practitioner to see their patients physically in their home. To further improve the efficiency and scalability of home hospital care, the investigators propose to test remote care, where the physician would provide care via a video interaction, instead of in-home/in-person care. The investigators propose a non-inferiority evaluation of this intervention.


Inclusion Criteria: - Resides within either a 5-mile or 20 minute driving radius of emergency department - Has capacity to consent to study OR can assent to study and has proxy who can consent - >= 18 years-old - Can identify a potential caregiver who agrees to stay with patient for first 24 hours of admission. Caregiver must be competent to call care team if a problem is evident to her/him. After 24 hours, this caregiver should be available for as-needed spot checks on the patient. This criterion may be waived for highly competent patients at the patient and clinician's discretion. - Primary or possible diagnosis of cellulitis, heart failure, complicated urinary tract infection, pneumonia, COPD/asthma, other infection, chronic kidney disease, malignant pain, diabetes and its complications, gout flare, hypertensive urgency, previously diagnosed atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, anticoagulation needs, or a patient who desires only medical management that requires inpatient admission, as determined by the emergency room team. Exclusion Criteria: - Undomiciled - No working heat (October-April), no working air conditioning if forecast > 80°F (June-September), or no running water - On methadone requiring daily pickup of medication - In police custody - Resides in facility that provides on-site medical care (e.g., skilled nursing facility) - Domestic violence screen positive - Acute delirium, as determined by the Confusion Assessment Method2 - Cannot establish peripheral access in emergency department (or access requires ultrasound guidance, unless point-of-care ultrasound is available) - Secondary condition: end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis, acute myocardial infarction, acute cerebral vascular accident, acute hemorrhage - Primary diagnosis requires multiple or routine administrations of intravenous narcotics for pain control - Cannot independently ambulate to bedside commode, unless home-based aides are available - As deemed by on-call MD, patient likely to require any of the following procedures: computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, endoscopic procedure, blood transfusion, cardiac stress test, or surgery - High risk for clinical deterioration - Home hospital census is full

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    Brigham and Women's Hospital

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