From FOX 31 Denver:
Denver Health Medical Center is about to try something that just a few hospitals in the entire country are doing.
It doesn't have anything to do with new technology or a new procedure.
Instead, the hospital is about to offer some of its most vulnerable patients housing.
"It’s really exciting to be part of a new way of thinking to try to help our patients," said Dr. Sarah Stella, a Denver Health hospitalist.
Specifically, she's talking about patients who don't have a safe home where they can return. In some cases, they can't be legally discharged if they need follow-up care.
The patients end up staying at the hospital even though they don't need medically need to be there.
"There are well-known risks to remaining in a hospital when you don’t need to remain in a hospital any longer...risk of infection, falls, things like that," Stella said.
Denver Health is about to start providing housing for some of these patients in partnerships with both the Denver Housing Authority and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
"I think it’s going to be life changing for some," Stella said. "It feels good as a physician to be able to not continue to send someone out to the streets and continue that cycle of getting sicker and needing to return to the hospital."
"We really started to understand the challenges the hospital was having with homeless patients who come through their ER, get the care they need, and are ready to be discharged. But because they were homeless before, they don’t have a place to go to complete their recovery," said Ismael Guerrero, Denver Housing Authority Executive Director.
Read FOX 31's article "Denver Health to provide housing for patients," featuring the Denver Housing Authority.