Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have partnered in a pilot program to deliver home outpatient antibiotic therapy to patients with injection drug use/substance use disorder.
This therapy is not new in health care, but bringing it to a population that is currently using or has a history of substance use disorder is.
According to a news release from VNH, health care teams have been hesitant to send someone home that has a history or is a current user of substances with direct access to a central line.
“We know through other states that have trialed this program, such as Massachusetts and Maine with success, that science supports giving people recovery support, so they can continue to receive IV antibiotics at home,” VNH Home Health Care Manager Briana White said.
“These patients want to be home and to go through whatever phase of recovery they are in.”
Without this treatment at home, many of them would have to stay in the hospital, taking up beds, or go to a skilled nursing facility, the news release said.
With outpatient antibiotic therapy, “the patient gets direct one-on-one support from a dedicated nurse for triage and oversight, a dedicated recovery coach, and home visits for line care, assessments and education with the home health nurse from VNH,” the news release stated.
“Through a multidisciplinary approach, patients can receive treatment for their infection with IV antibiotics along with recovery support in their home.”