Hospital-At-Home as a Solution for the Treatment Requirements of Acute Exacerbation in Multiple Sclerosis
D. Steinmetz (1), H. Edelstein (1), S. Dishon (2), E. Berkovitz (1), A. Almany (1), A. Miller (2)
(1) Hospital-at-Home Department, Continuing Care Unit, Clalit Health Services, Haifa and Western Galilee District. (2) Multiple Sclerosis Center, the Neuroimmunology Unit, Carmel Medical Center. Faculty of Medicine and the Rappoport Institute for Medical Research, Haifa, Israel
Cooperation between the Multiple Sclerosis center at the Carmel medical center and the Hospital-at-Home (H.H) department of the continuing care unit in the Haifa and Western Galilee district of the Clalit Health Services has made it possible to give metylprednisolone intravenously to Multiple Sclerosis (M.S) patients during an acute exacerbation of the disease, in their home.
In this study, we describe the joint work of the two centers. We have summarized 30 treatment courses given to 26 patients in their homes, following referral by the M.S. center, in the year 1999.
The aims of the study included assessing satisfaction, safety and cose-effectiveness in a treatment course in the HH framework, as compared to the same treatment being conducted in the framework of hospitalization in various neurological departments, as was done in the past in the same group of patients.
The expenses involved in HH for this group of patients were only 14% of the parallel treatment in the hospital (a savings of 86%).
The treatment has proven to be extremely safe. There were no side-effects that required returning patients to the hospital, and the treatment was given in conditions of maximum comfort for the patient and his family.
A telephone survey was conducted, which compared the satisfaction with the HH treatment, and the burden caused the patient's family to prior hospitalization for the same treatment. For all of the parameters examined, greater satisfaction was distinctly proven in the HH treatment. In light of these findings, we can conclude that giving metylprednisolone intravenously to M.S patients during an acute exacerbation, in the HH framework, is a safe and cost effective treatment, preferred by the patient and his family.