Heal in Comfort with Covenant Health’s Advance Care at Home

Last updated on November 09, 2023

Being away from home can be hard for patients and their family when dealing with an illness or chronic ailment. For Jay Ambrister, 80, that was his experience in previous visits to a hospital from trying to sleep in an unfamiliar bed to missing his front porch. Upon entry into Covenant Health’s Advanced Care at Home (ACH) program, Jay woke up in the comfort of his Knox County home instead of, as he said, “being cooped up in a hospital.”

Jay Ambrister sits on a bench on he made earlier in 2023.
Jay Ambrister sits on a bench on he made earlier in 2023.

How the case presented

For Jay, his journey through the ACH program began when he was admitted to Parkwest Medical Center after experiencing chills and left leg discomfort with significant redness. He had a similar infection of cellulitis in January of 2023 and had chronic edema (or swelling) of the left leg reportedly related to a previous knee replacement. Jay had become septic from the infection and needed IV antibiotics. Given the severity of his infection, Jay initially needed hospital level care but was otherwise stable.

Following two days of care at Parkwest Medical Center, Jay and his wife, Litha, were given the choice to continue treatment at the hospital or join the new ACH program and get medical care at home. Although Jay repeatedly praised the bedside care he received at the hospital, the couple knew what their choice would be. Home is where the couple has lived for more than five decades and raised their children. An electrician by trade and now retired, Jay had built the home’s stunning front porch and developed a lovely garden cultivated by Litha. He also does woodworking projects and restores cars – and he gave his 1965 Mustang to his grandson.

“By choosing the Advanced Care at Home Program, Jay was able to heal in his home environment,” said Stacey Jenkins, RN, a registered nurse who works in the virtual care operations center for ACH, also known as the command center.

“Our patients are so much better rested being able to sleep in their bed. We meet them where they need us. Our care is flexible to let patients make decisions regarding their schedules, needs and wants.”

Jay Ambrister relaxes on the porch he built years ago at the family’s home.
Jay Ambrister relaxes on the porch he built years ago at the family’s home.

How the ACH program helps patients heal at home

With advancements in technology and access to medical personnel around the clock, recuperating at home has become a viable option for patients who previously had to be hospitalized. Before a patient enters ACH, the command center determines if there are adequate resources such as a stable residence, water and electricity and an overall support system.

“These patients can reach their care team at just the touch of a button,” Jenkins said. “Their doctor is available around the clock for questions and assistance.”

Couriers deliver necessary medications and pick up bloodwork. A night nurse checked on Jay before bed to ensure treatment and recovery were on track. Jay and Litha noticed how quickly they received test results at home compared to traditional hospital stays.

“The patients end up feeling like family,” Jenkins said. “Jay was able to sit on his front porch and get sunshine on his skin and see the trees and feel the air. I would talk to him on his tablet while he sat on his porch and many of the providers enjoyed some front porch sitting with Jay and Litha.”

Jay and Litha both noted the compassion shown by Jenkins and all medical personnel connected to ACH. His next car project is a Ford Crown Victoria, known as a “Crown Vic,” and he’s eager to get it done. Healing at home boosted Jay’s spirits and morale and provided a clear path to recovery. The couple want to see the program thrive and grow to help even more patients get out of a hospital bed and go back home.

For information about this program, visit CovenantHealth.com/ACH.

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