CMAJ logo Hospital care is mandatory in particular cases. However it is not required for the treatment and care of all the patients. Some may actually prefer an out of hospital treatment, in order to avoid its high-cost, and suit their own preference. Now even a latest study has highlighted the benefits of “hospital-at-home-programs.”

The investigators presented a systematic review and meta-analysis of this criterion in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness and outcome of home care receiving patients as compared to in-patient hospital care. This study was jointly conducted by the University of Oxford; University Hospital Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust; University College, London; King’s & St. Thomas’ School of Medicine; University of Leicester; and University of Torino, Italy.

The need for acute care beds and lower cost has prompted some people to adopt hospital-at-home-programs, as compared to the traditional hospital care. Various randomized trials in different countries were studied in order to analyze their results. They examined the trails based on older adults aging 70 or above, suffering from chronic pulmonary diseases (COPD), stroke and acute medical conditions. Their findings revealed that the satisfaction level of home care patients was higher. They also state that over a period of 3 months, the rate of mortality was lower for hospital-care patients as compared to home-care patients.

However Dr. Shepperd states that, “Our findings do not mean that hospital care is hazardous. More work needs to be done to determine if there are particular types of patients who benefit from hospital at home care. This is especially important, as the level of treatment available to a person at home, and the ways of delivering care in both the home and the hospital, change.”

The study authors conclude that hospital-at-home-care may prove to be helpful and efficient for certain patients. This new model may help in keeping certain patients out of acute care hospital, in the treatment of those patients who need an effective and safe treatment, and also help patients in their move out of hospital care to home care.

They state that additional research and analysis is required in order to gain a deeper understanding in this area.