Schneider Launches the Home Hospitalization Department
The department will be headed by Dr. Gilat Livne, Director of Pediatrics A at Schneider, and includes Dr. Lital Yesharim, head nurse Tami Barazani, and head of administration Chani Hershkowitz. The initiative is part of Clalit's "15th hospital project", and the idea behind it is to enable children – where appropriate – to remain at home in a familiar, supportive and pleasant setting without having to change the family's routine, while simultaneously receiving quality medical care including the full range of Schneider's services while at home.
Two tracks will be available for home hospitalization: first option - upon arrival at the ER based on the decision of the medical staff; second option – a continued stay at home following hospitalization, in other words, a shorter stay in the hospital with further treatment at home. Hospitalization at home will ensue as if the child is in Schneider and will be decided upon by hospital staff under their responsibility, and accord the full range of treatments and services with 24/7 accessibility. As part of the project "Schneider at Home", the attending team will check patients every day in their homes or virtually, according to need. Should it be necessary for further consultation with specialists or supportive services such as social work, nutrition, physical therapy and so on, Schneider consultants will contact the families virtually for attention and care, just as if the child was in hospital.
Prior to sending the child home for continued hospitalization, parents will be fully advised about what is expected of them, about the availability of staff and the equipment that will be needed at home. Patients will receive a home hospitalization package that will comprise medications and devices for distance follow-up such as TYTO, thermometer and saturation meter based upon the type of follow-up required as designated by doctors. These instruments will enable the medical team to check on the patient's condition at home. Similarly, throughout the child's hospitalization at home, Schneider Children's will supply all medications, and should tests be needed to be done in the hospital, appointments will be made at the hospital after which the child can return home. Should home hospitalization be stopped and the child transferred back to the hospital, admission will be conducted speedily and efficiently.
The period of time that the child is hospitalized at home will be decided by the medical team and discharge will be based on the child's condition. Parents will be given guidance and instructions prior to discharge, together with an official letter and summary of care. The local community health clinic will be updated about the child's discharge and any follow-up care. Details of the hospitalization will be included in the child's medical history maintained in the hospital's digitized records.
The first child in Israel hospitalized at home is 11-month-old Gefen from Ramat Gan. She arrived at Schneider's ER this week and, following examination and diagnosis, she was treated intravenously with antibiotics. She was later discharged to continued home hospitalization under the supervision of Schneider's medical team.
Dr. Efrat Bron-Harlev, CEO of Schneider Children's, stated that "we at Schneider are proud to lead progress towards home hospitalization for children in Israel, implemented for the first time in the country and among a few in the world. We believe that the best place for a child is at home, and to our joy, the accessibility of advanced technologies enables us to break through the barriers of the hospital and with the aid of virtual devices, enable hospitalization at home alongside warm and emotional support. The team of specialists at Schneider Children's will continue to be accessible to children at home just as if they were in the hospital itself, and accord them the best treatment possible."
Dr. Orly Weinstein, Deputy CEO and head of the Hospital's Division at Clalit, added "the establishment of the Pediatric Home Hospitalization Department at Schneider Children's is a revolutionary step and the first of its kind in Israel. It is among the few departments of its kind in the world. Schneider Children's has built an organized program of activities which will enable the hospitalization of children in their homes without impacting upon the quality of care and follow-up while supporting the family and providing the best place possible for these children to be. This development is part of many processes being undertaken by Clalit to provide better responses in the new and advanced world of medicine."
Dr. Gilat Livne, Head of the Home Hospitalization Department, noted that "the first stage of the pilot is to enable 10 patients from 6 months to 18 years, suffering from relatively simple infections, to remain in care at home. The more experience we gain, the broader the spectrum of illnesses we will be able to treat. The treatment children will receive at home will be as excellent as they would receive in Schneider, yet they will be able to remain in their natural and safe environment. We are sure that home hospitalization will vastly improve the well-being of children and the entire family."
Ms. Nurit Baruch, Director of the Nursing Division at Schneider Children's, said that "hospitalizing children at home is a natural and sure step that will change the face of pediatrics. In order for the endeavor to succeed, the hospital's experienced team has undergone specialized training in order to provide appropriate and individual home medical and nursing care according the highest standards. I anticipate very high levels of satisfaction from the patients themselves, their parents and the attending staff."
Dr. Lital Yesharim, a home hospitalization doctor, said that "I was very excited to visit Gefen at her home, our first patient in the Home Hospitalization Department that Schneider has spearheaded. We made further strides as a hybrid hospital that places the well-being of our patients and their families at the center without diminishing the quality of care. Little Gefen cooperated with us and will continue to receive the best treatment from us in her home."
Nurse Tami Barazani noted that "there is no doubt that this is a significant step in the advancement of pediatrics the world over. The ability to arrive at the homes of patients and provide them with the best care in their own space creates a positive experience for all involved."