Love is the best medicine, and nothing beats having the ones you love surround you during a healing time. Ron and Dolores Wiese have been together for almost 65 years; they’re each other’s rock; Dolores says, “Can’t imagine. Can’t imagine what it would be like not to have him by my side.”
Through the years, plenty of research using anecdotal evidence has suggested separation from a partner can create sleep disturbances, leading to increased anxiety and depression. And studies in animals have zeroed in on the neurochemical mechanisms behind the negative implication of separation. As you’d expect, when Dolores developed a skin infection significant enough to need hospitalization, leaving Ron’s side was distressing. Thankfully, there’s another option – hospitalization at home. Dolores said, “It was quite amazing to get that kind of care in our living room.”
DispatchHealth is a pioneer in this space and one of the country’s only community-based hospital at-home alternatives working with both government and commercial health plans that allow direct admission. Medical teams are equipped with the latest technology and bring diagnostic imaging and complex laboratory tests to the patient, so they never need to leave their familiar surroundings and the people and pets they love. A national study by John Hopkins found that in-home hospital care resulted in better clinical outcomes, a shorter average length of stay, fewer complications, and higher patient satisfaction.
DispatchHealth nurse practitioner Kristen Cox has been delivering hospital-level care to patients, like Dolores, at home in Phoenix for more than a year. Still, before that, she worked in the traditional brick-and-mortar setting. But, Kristen says, “From having this perspective of working in ICUs and seeing family members coming in for a couple of hours a day and how the patient would light up in the hospital. Think about that magnified by 10,000.”
“It’s important to be happy when you’re healing,” Dolores Wiese said. LOVE: Yet another reason to favor hospitalization at home.
Ron and Dolores’ story first aired on NPR and E.W. Scripps stations nationwide in 2022. Since then, the Advanced Care program has quadrupled in size, and is now available to patients in 10 communities across the country.