Sep 2023

Hospital at Home: New service helps acute care patients recover at home


Over the next few months, a new service will roll out at St. Paul’s Hospital designed to increase acute care capacity, improve patient outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.

Called Hospital at Home, it enables eligible patients to receive acute-level care in their homes, rather than in the hospital.

Hospital at Home (HaH) is not a new concept – hospitals around the world have been using it for more than 20 years. And in B.C., Island Health and Northern Health have been offering it since 2020 and 2021 respectively.

With support of the BC Ministry of Health, the program is expanding to St. Paul’s Hospital and several other hospitals in BC. Studies in other hospitals have found that patients experience:

  • Lower risk of hospital-acquired infections
  • Less loss of functionality
  • Fewer incidents of delirium
  • A better overall care experience.​

“Hospital at Home will allow us to increase acute care capacity, especially during the winter cold and flu season and it will improve patient flow,” says Sandy Barr, program director medicine, older adult and palliative.

“It is another step in toward our goal of access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time for every patient.”​

How ​​does it work?

  • Patients who are medically stable and who meet specific criteria are transferred home after consultation with the care team and the family.
  • Patients are still considered inpatients even though their care is provided in their home, not in the hospital.
  • They receive daily, in-person care from members of an interdisciplinary team of hospital clinicians, supplemented by virtual visits and monitoring.
  • In-person nursing and physician care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Participation in the program is voluntary and patients can choose to receive their care in hospital. ​

To learn more: