News & Events

Tufts Medical Center partners with Medically Home® for COVID-19 response

04/20/2020
As Massachusetts prepares for the peak of COVID-19 cases, Tufts Medical Center is the first hospital in the country to partner with Medically Home as part of the response strategy, moving some patients from inpatient to in-home hospital-level care. 

“Long before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our way of life, we began researching innovative ways to provide care for the subset of patients who could receive hospital-level medical services in the comfort of their own homes,” said Tufts Medical Center President and CEO, Michael Apkon, MD, PhD. “In the face of this crisis, we’ve been able to accelerate our timeline in the hopes of having as many beds available as possible for patients whose care can only be delivered in the hospital, especially those who will require a ventilator.”

Medically Home is a Boston, Massachusetts company with a strong track record of successfully enabling hospital-level care in patients’ homes. Clinicians from Medically Home collaborate with Tufts MC doctors and case managers to evaluate patients with qualifying diagnoses who are eligible for the program, ensuring that care can be safely delivered at home. 

Medically Home then enables a virtual hospital with all the technology necessary to meet each patient’s medical needs. Doctors and nurses in the Medically Home medical command center use technology to virtually assess patients and to order, fulfill and dispatch required medications, clinicians and services to the patient’s home. In this way, the clinicians and patients have core services available in their home that would have otherwise only been available in a traditional hospital setting. 

“I love this program. It made me feel empowered. We were able to see the nurse and doctor twice a day in the mornings and evenings, and I helped take my mom’s vitals, which went into the system wirelessly. The process was perfect,” said Joseph Kirnon, whose mother, Mary, was one of the first patients to be discharged from Tufts Medical Home to home under the care of Medically Home. “My mom is doing great. But honestly, I don’t know if it helped her as much as me in that she could be home and comfortable, and I could make sure she got what she needed.”

“As a physician it has been an incredible gift to be able to provide high acuity care to patients in their homes. Medically Home combines the best of hospital-level care with the comfort, safety and familiarity of home. I can see and talk to my patient at any time of day or night and know how they’re doing clinically, as well as how they’re doing personally. Home is the ideal environment for healing,” said Pippa Shulman, DO, MPH Chief Medical Officer of Medically Home.

A Commonwealth Fund case study offers additional insights into the Hospital at Home model and shares compelling research showing that compared to similar hospitalized patients, Hospital at Home patients experience better clinical outcomes, including fewer readmissions, reduced falls and lower rates of mortality. Patients and families also report improved satisfaction and reduced caregiver stress.

“Our partnership with Medically Home is allowing us to optimize our space and resources at a critical moment, but even after this crisis has passed, we believe Medically Home will remain an important part our overall strategy to meet the unique needs of each patient we serve,” said Dr. Apkon. 

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About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. The Medical Center features a level one trauma center with rooftop helipad, the largest heart transplant center in New England and a renowned research program, ranking among the top 10 percent of independent hospitals to receive federal research funding. A physician network of 1,800 New England Quality Care Alliance doctors represents our strong commitment to health in the community. Tufts Medical Center is a founding member of Wellforce. For more information, visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.

About Medically Home Group
Medically Home Group is a technology-enabled services company that provides the clinical Intellectual Property, Technology Platform, Mission Control Telemedicine Command Center and acute rapid response clinical services that allows medical providers to safely shift advanced medical care from hospitals to patients’ homes. Through the company’s commitment to creating superior experiences and outcomes for patients, their families and healthcare stakeholders, Medically Home Group is leading the charge in innovation of the delivery of healthcare. For more information on Medically Home Group, please visit www.medicallyhome.com/.