EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – A new program allows Mayo Clinic Health System patients to bring the hospital home after surgery. Known as “Advanced Care at Home,” the program was created to clear up hospital beds during the pandemic.
Robert Heintz took advantage of the program after he had his hip replaced at Mayo’s Luther Campus in Eau Claire.
“There’s nothing like going home and sleeping in your bed and hospitals are a wonderful place to be away from as soon as you can,” he said.
Heintz’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Webb, said after surgery, hospital staff coordinated Heintz’s transportation back home.
“At his house, our staff sets up an electronic set-up where there’s connections to physicians and other care providers, and they also provide things like blood pressure monitoring, oxygen monitoring and things of that nature,” Webb said.
He said nurses and paramedics stop by to administer meds. They’re also nearby if there’s an emergency.
“We can provide some level of hospital care instead of using a bed for someone that’s otherwise safe to be at home,” Webb said.
Heintz was able to go home a day after surgery. Webb said his operation usually requires a three or four-day hospital stay. He added shorting hospital stays is crucial nowadays since beds are scarce during the pandemic.
“It does allow us to still care for patients in a time where we’re still facing a very big bed crunch,” Webb said.
Heintz believes being home helped him recover quicker. He said he’s had several surgeries and this was his best experience.
“This, by far, has been the most comforting and, I guess you can say, enjoyable experience if you have to go through surgery,” he said.
Webb said though the program was created out of necessity due to COVID-19, he believes it will outlast the pandemic.
The program in northwest Wisconsin is only open to people who live within a 30-mile radius of the Luther Campus.
Marshfield Clinic said it has a similar program. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital said it does not.