The day before and day after low-risk surgical procedures are an important transition time for patients. But the common notion that hospitalized patients are better off or prefer a bricks-and-mortar hospital continues to be challenged.
Pilot programs in America and Europe are examining the value of employing a mix of in-person and telehealth services in settings outside of hospitals, and recently published Mayo Clinic research indicates many patients prefer the hybrid approach.
One such program is Mayo’s Care Hotel, which opened in 2020. It combines limited in-person daytime monitoring of surgical and procedural patients by a registered nurse with availability of paramedic staff. Twenty-four-hour virtual monitoring is conducted with both biometric devices and the virtual clinical team. This hybrid approach saves patients money versus an overnight hospital stay and helps to optimize nursing resources, a critical factor during COVID-19, the study authors noted.
The research study, published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, examined surveys completed by 93 patients who stayed at the Mayo Clinic Care Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. Results showed that 87% of patients had a positive experience and 94% would probably recommend the program to others.
The survey was targeted to patients who stayed at least one night in the Care Hotel and who had surgeries relating to ear, nose and throat, gynecology, cardiology, neurosurgery or other procedures. The authors also noted that because only 56% of patients who were sent surveys answered them, it could produce skewed results. For example, if one respondent referred a friend to the Mayo Care Hotel and that person also received a survey, it could have led to multiple positive responses.