JESSUP, Pa. -- It may be an old idea, but a new program is taking off for a hospital system in our area.
Geisinger at Home is just what it sounds like -- a team of health care professionals treating a patient in his or her own home.
Angels are all over Jeanette Miller's house in Jessup, but she says some of her favorites wear scrubs.
"I had to have the paramedics come and shoot that intravenous into my arm and give me the liquid medicine. Thank God for Christine and Dr. Wylie. They really helped me. They were my angels," Jeanette said.
89-year-old Jeannette is one of the 1,200 Geisinger patients now enrolled in a program called Geisinger at Home.
"It's not for everyone. We focus on our fragile and medically complex patients," explained Kristine Collins, R.N.
Jeannette has had heart trouble and fainted once in her kitchen. She's an example of someone who may have a hard time getting medical help on her own, but whose issues can be managed.
"It's not just for when the patient is sick at home, although that's a great benefit and it benefitted Jeanette here, but we try to keep them as healthy as possible," said Collins.
"Patients have complex health conditions, multiple conditions, and they have trouble getting out of their home to come to a clinic or a practice to get care. That really was the impetus to get us thinking about a new care model," said Janet Tomcavage, Geisinger's chief population health officer.
She explains Geisinger at Home started in April. Health officials identify and reach out to people like Jeannette who have a number of hospital stays or ER visits offering an extra layer of care, 24/7.
And she points out it's a way to cut costs, too.
"A lot of times patients use the ED for their care and if we can get upstream we can make a difference in outcomes and lower expenses as well," Tomcavage said.
Officials say Geisinger at Home is not just doctors or nurses. The team can include dieticians and social workers, too. That gives them a better picture of what may be happening at home, such as food insecurities, or safety issues.