Home care teams improve stroke recovery

A Decision Health Daily Article

A program that brought team-based home care to stroke patients has achieved encouraging results.

Home Health Line readers take note: The Canadian Stroke Congress says that a local pilot program, Early Supported Discharge, “resulted in equally good or better cognition, communication and physical function for people who receive therapy in their own homes as opposed to in a hospital or facility.”

That savings is a surprising result, considering the recent American Journal of Managed Care report that found that, while home care intervention programs reduce hospitalization, it doesn’t lower overall health care costs.

Under the program, 160 stroke patients were sent home early and a trans-disciplinary team (including various therapists and pathologists, therapy assistants, a social worker and a registered nurse) worked with the patients in and around their homes over five weeks to help them meet activities-of-daily-living needs.

The Congress says the team’s interventions “helped to virtually eliminate waiting lists for inpatient stroke therapy in Calgary, reduced lengths of stay in inpatient rehabilitation by an average 12 days, and saved approximately $1 million in the first year.”