New Hospital-at-Home Program Reaches Patients Where They Live

Ron Slone, Covenant Health Advanced Care at Home patient

Ron Slone was the third patient to enter Covenant Health’s new Advanced Care at Home Program after it launched in March 2023 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Slone is retired and lives with his wife, Jackie, in Farragut, Tennessee, and enjoys gardening, bicycling and spending time outdoors.

After reporting some abdominal issues to his primary care doctor earlier this year, a CT scan revealed a large 12-millimeter cyst on his liver.

When Slone was told he needed surgery, he chose a Covenant Health facility. He was scheduled for surgery within the week of consultation because of the severity and risk of infection or rupture of the abscess. A surgical oncologist at Fort Sanders Regional performed a procedure to access the cyst and inserted a tube to let it drain.

At Fort Sanders Regional

After the drain tube was inserted, Slone began receiving IV antibiotics every six hours to prevent infection. He says all the doctors and nurses who interacted with him were kind and helpful. “I was kept informed, all the nurses were extremely nice, and I couldn’t have had a better experience,” he said.

While in the hospital he learned about the new Advanced Care at Home program, and his hospitalist determined that Slone was eligible. After four days at Fort Sanders Regional, Slone was transferred to the Advanced Care at Home program. He received hospital-level care in his home setting until he was stable for discharge and able to transition to home health care.

He says, “The EMT personnel transported me to my home, and before I got there, the medical supply people had already set up the equipment I needed to monitor my vitals. I was elated to be home. The food is better, and I can be around my family.”

The Advanced Care at Home program includes a tech kit, so in addition to in-person visits from a community paramedic or other healthcare professional, patients and their loved ones have the ability to communicate with their care team 24/7 through a phone or tablet.

Transferring to Care at Home

“We had this communication device, a tablet to video chat with the nurse,” Slone says. “The Global Medical Response people came about four times per day and each time administered the meds and took my vitals.” [GMR’s specially trained community paramedics are part of the Advanced Care at Home team.]

Slone recalls, “When they changed my schedule to receive antibiotics once per day, that made things a lot better. I was home and comfortable. Because I could get up and walk around, that helped. I still had the tubes and drains, but being sequestered at home rather than the hospital made a lot more sense to me.

“My wife and I were both extremely pleased with the entire experience,” he said. “I will continue with my follow-up appointments to get drain tubes removed, but I am on the way to recovery.”

He adds, “The experience was incredible. When you’re sick, you have a lot of things to worry about. This helped me through the feelings and fear of unknown, and having people like the hospitalist or nurse talk to me one-on-one made a big difference. I was pleased with that.

“Every single person I encountered was very friendly and knowledgeable. Anyone who qualifies for this would be wise to try it. I’m very optimistic and fortunate to have great people to help me.”

The Advanced Care at Home program is offered at Covenant Health’s two Knoxville hospitals and will be available to patients receiving care from Covenant Health’s other acute-care facilities throughout East Tennessee over the next few years. This service will be particularly valuable as the program expands to patients who live in rural areas served by our hospitals.

For more information about this program, visit

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