Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

Home Care: A Better Way To Care For Ventilator Patients

Dr. William Greenough teaches about best practice in homecare.


Using portable ventilator technologies in the patient’s home can provide a higher quality of life.

For many years we’ve asked patients to come to centralized hospitals with their ever-increasing technologies and invasive procedures if they need to be on a ventilator. An alternate strategy is to take the most effective portable technologies to the patient at home.


In four conditions—congestive heart failure, COPD exacerbations, community acquired pneumonia, and cellulitis— taking hospital-based ventilator technologies to the patient at home is safer, less costly and more “user friendly” than admitting patients to a centralized hospital.


Recently we have been adapting home care to patients who need ventilator care. The overarching paradigm is to take medical technologies to the patient at home instead of forcing patients to be admitted or stay for long periods in hospital or long term care ventilator facilities. We are all too familiar—especially with older, frailer patients—that hospitals pose hazards such as delirium, falls and fractures, risks of highly resistant infections, and depression. The challenge is now to move the health care system toward seeing homecare as a serious option for better safer care at lower cost.


The recent studies linked above confirm that care at home is safer and quality of life is better when home ventilator care is implemented. The best medicine for we as physicians is to provide to our patients our technologies and care in the safest and most user friendly manner.


Read more about ventilator care at home.