Home infusion therapy is a convenient treatment option for many patients as it allows them to receive medical care in the comfort of their own home rather than an extended stay in the hospital. This treatment method involving the administration of medications, nutrients, blood products and other solutions through an intravenous (IV) catheter or other vascular access device. With the right therapy and support, many conditions can now be safely and effectively managed at home.
What is Home Infusion Therapy?
Home infusion therapy typically involves a trained professional such as a nurse visiting a patient’s home on a regular basis to administer prescribed treatments through an IV or central line catheter. Common therapies provided through home infusion include administration of antibiotics, chemotherapy, pain medications, intravenous immunoglobulin and total parenteral nutrition. Other types of infusion therapy like hydration or blood transfusion can also be safely performed at home.
A prescription from a doctor along with a comprehensive care plan developed by the infusion pharmacy and nursing team is required for home infusion services. Patients receiving home infusion therapy usually undergo training on how to care for their IV access sites and learn how to recognize potential complications that may require urgent medical attention. If any issues arise between scheduled nurse visits, patients have around-the-clock access to trained clinical staff for assistance and support.
Benefits of Home Infusion Therapy
Compared to prolonged hospital stays for IV treatments, home infusion offers numerous clinical, financial and quality of life advantages for appropriate patients:
Reduced Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections
The home environment poses a lower infection risk than a hospital setting with many immuno-compromised patients. This reduces the chances of contracting multi-drug resistant organisms during treatment.
Increased Comfort and Freedom
Receiving treatments from the comfort of one’s home allows patients to rest, work or spend time with loved ones during therapy. This improves quality of life over being confined to a hospital bed.
Cost Savings for Patients and Insurers
Home infusion is generally much less expensive than an equivalent period of inpatient hospitalization, reducing patients’ co-pays and deductibles. It also slashes costs for private insurers and government health programs like Medicare by avoiding facility fees charged by hospitals.
Continuity of Care
Therapy can often be seamlessly continued at home following a hospital discharge, leading to faster recovery times and prevention of treatment interruptions and relapses.
Care by Specialized Providers
Nurses administering infusions at home receive extensive training to care for patients with complex conditions requiring parenteral therapy, ensuring high quality, individualized care.
Suitable Conditions for Home Infusion Therapy
While many chronic diseases and acute conditions can now be effectively managed at home, infusions may not be appropriate if:
– The patient has an unstable medical condition requiring close hospital monitoring.
– There are mobility issues, cognitive impairment or inability to self-administer medications preventing home care.
– The infusion therapy has an high risk of complications needing rapid intervention, such as certain chemotherapy regimens.
– IV access is difficult or the vein health precludes home administration of irritant drugs.
Some common diseases treated through home infusion include:
Chronic Inflammatory Conditions
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis often receive frequent antibodies or immunomodulatory drugs through home infusion pumps.
Congestive Heart Failure or Liver Disease
Individuals needing diuretics, vasodilators or other support medications multiple times per week are good candidates for self or family-administered home IV therapy.
People diagnosed with primary immunodeficiencies usually get monthly infusions of immunoglobulin to prevent life-threatening infections at home.
Getting Started with Home Infusion
The steps to starting home infusion services typically involve:
1. A referral by the primary physician to an infusion specialty pharmacy or home care agency.
2. Evaluation by the home care team to assess appropriateness and plan for requirements.
3. Obtaining insurance approval and copay/deductible clarification.
4. Nurse training and venue assessment at the patient’s residence.
5. Delivery and administration of pumps, supplies and first dose by a home health nurse.
6. Follow up appointments and 24/7 support provided as needed.
With the proper care team and resources in place, many patients are able to enjoy an improved quality of life while receiving sophisticated medical treatments from the comfort of their home through infusion therapy.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it