Home infusion can be a safe and effective alternative to inpatient care. If you’re like most people, you probably prefer to recover from or manage your condition in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Medical research reports that when a skilled team of specialists provides home care, patients experience better outcomes. The goal of home infusion is to provide quality care in a safe environment so that patients can maintain their independent lifestyles. Prior to starting home infusion therapy, a thorough assessment is performed to ensure that the patient is an appropriate candidate for infusion services and to determine if other home care services are needed.
Patients who require infusion therapy may have diagnoses ranging from:
- multiple sclerosis
- cancer and cancer-related pain
- gastrointestinal diseases or disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or esophageal cancer, that result in nutrition-related problems
- congestive heart failure; and immune disorders
Until the 1980’s, patients receiving infusion therapy had to remain in the hospital setting for the duration of their therapy. Heightened emphasis on cost-containment in health care, as well as developments in the clinical administration of the therapy, led to strategies to administer infusion therapy in alternate settings. For individuals requiring long-term therapy, inpatient care is not only tremendously expensive but also prevents the individual from resuming normal lifestyle and work activities.
Home infusion is a safe and effective alternative to inpatient care for many disease states and therapies. For many patients, receiving treatment at home is preferable to being in the hospital. Many home infusion therapy providers operate one or more ambulatory infusion suites which are ideally suited for certain patient-therapy situations.
An infusion therapy provider is most normally a “closed-door”, state-licensed pharmacy that specializes in provision of infusion therapies to patients in their homes or other alternate-sites—called a home infusion therapy pharmacy. The infusion therapy always originates with a prescription order from a qualified physician who is overseeing the care of the patient.